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Heartsounds – Internal Eyes
Internal Eyes - Creator-Destructor Records
Now confidently on their third release, San Francisco melodic punk rock act Heartsounds is hardly the underdog upstart it once was. The once shockingly knowledgeable fusion of melody meets technicality that caught the ear of 90’s skate punk fans everywhere with Until We Surrender is now just business as usual for established fans of the Ben Murray and Laura Nichol fronted duo. As such their third effort, Internal Eyes, showcases a band reaffirming rather than redefining their well-trodden sound.
What Heartsounds does best is jump into the action and never take their finger from the trigger. Internal Eyes is no different. The rumbled drumming of “A Total Separation Of Self” flies out the gate, soon followed by the technical showmanship we’ve all come to expect. Murray and Nichol trade vocal duties line by line, weaving in and out of one another, reaffirming their shared presence as Heartsounds’ singular voice. “Cycles” follows soon thereafter with some tricks born from a more varied tempo and corresponding vocal harmonies, serving as he perfect stepping stone to the title track. “Internal Eyes” slows the pace of all of the above for a less conventional but no less targeted three minutes of buzzing riffs and killer solos. Three distinct songs right off the bat speak of Heartsounds as much more than a one trick pony in the EpiFat carrel.
Of course the Bad Religion, Strung Out and A Wilhelm Scream comparisons still persist in the backing vocal harmonies of “Spiraling” and technical ease of “Can’t Always Look Down” and “Afterthoughts.” Even “The World Up There” ends on particular powerful note that incorporates all of the above.
Like a marriage years after the honeymoon, Heartsounds’ shock factor may have faded, but the remaining love and comfort and subtle progression only makes the heart grow fonder. Internal Eyes confirms everything that fans already know about Ben and Laura’s musical passion.