Self Defense Family

Heaven Is Earth

Written by: HES on 14/01/2016 18:05:58

Being an avid fan of the hardcore outfit Drug Church I instantly jumped on the chance to take this record from an associated band off the hands of my colleague LF – hoping I would fall even deeper in love with the vocalist of both bands, Patrick Kindlon. And yes, I did fall further in love with Kindlon’s emotive voice and rambling, cynical lyrics. Unfortunately, the rest of the post-punk soundscape leaves much to be desired.

Whereas Drug Church is almost manically energetic, at the edge of the musical seat, Self Defense Family is histrionically leaned back. The droning of the chanting opener "In My Defens Self Me Defend" tricks you into believing that this might be leading to a crescendo of some sort, but you will be horribly let down if you were wishing for that. You then frantically look to the guitar- or bassline, that could have created at least a hook worth waiting for. But you are out of luck once again. The 2-3 toned arrangements loop and loop .. and loop. In other words: Zero hooks are given.

There are however small glimpses of originality on “Heaven Is Earth” if you ignore the dull compositions. "Talia" experiments with Ennio Morricone-esque harmonica with a strangely Frankenstein’y outcome, but the elongated wails of the steel wind instrument seems to mix well with the layers of droning guitars. “Ditko” also shares this strange but welcome dash of old school western represented by both the bass and rhythm section.

All in all, "Heaven Is Earth" is not a dissonant experience. Its greatest failure is that it engages the listener very little both emotionally and musically. The album only spans across 31 minutes and 21 seconds - not usually a length great enough for anyone to manage to get bored with it. But you do. It’s clear as usual, that Kindlon has something he wants to rant to you about, but somehow the message seems muffled – a very unlikely trait to be found in anything associated with Kindlon. However, if you listen very intently you’ll find nihilistic, gothic, lyrical gems like this on the title track: "Like farm dog caught in leg trap. Gnaws until his bones pop. Small bites until his tendons shred. No desperate thoughts, a calm head. Whole redefined, down one piece. Animals best define heaven: Distance from pain."

6

Download: Heaven Is Earth, Talia, Ditko
For The Fans Of: Drug Church, Title Fight, The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die
Listen: facebook.com/selfdefensefamily

Release date 30.06.2015
Deathwish

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