Two years after releasing one of the best albums of 2013, Superheaven have returned with what is sure to be a record that will go down as one of Alternative Rock’s greatest achievements. Ours is Chrome finds the band experimenting with even more heavy guitars, beautifully constructed melodies, and songs that aren’t too technical, but certainly convey emotion better than many of their peers.
Stagnation can easily kill a band these days. Fans can very quickly write off a band for sounding the same. On the other hand, when a band experiments too much, they can find themselves being criticized for straying too far from their roots. Superheaven toe this line carefully and it pays off. Ours is Chrome sounds enough like it’s predecessor that those who loved it will feel right at home. The wall of buzzing guitars is still there. Zack and Joe (drummer and bassist, respectfully) hold down the rhythm section relentlessly and with tones that rival those of the guitars. There are a fair amount of tweaks to the Superheaven formula here, especially in the vocals, where not only are there improved melodies, but extremely tight harmonies.
Seeing Superheaven live is an experience one won’t soon forget, and Producer Will Yip manages to translate that energy and loud, in-your-face sound to record flawlessly. There’s a warm, full sound to all of the instrumentals, which is exactly what you’d expect from the band who people consistently refer to as a “90’s revival band.” Obviously the 90’s influences are abound, but I think it’s important to realize how thoroughly modern this record sounds at the same time. Superheaven don’t need to rely on the nostalgia people have for bands of the past to succeed. It’s clear they have the chops to hold their own.
Standouts from the album include “Next to Nothing” who’s lead riff will stay in anyone’s head for days, while the droning vocals of Jake Clark demand the listener to feel the catharsis of the lyrics. “All The Pain” attacks with a wall of guitars and bass. “From the Chest Down” might be my favorite. It’s a six-minute epic that feels worth every second spent getting lost in the pounding drums and dizzying, sleepy vocals. Poor Aileen impresses as well, with guitar bends and the story of “Aileen” who wasn’t treated like a human.
Overall, this feels like the best possible version of a Superheaven record, and that should be more than enough for anyone. This band proved it’s worth with Jar, and didn’t really need to make any big, extravagant changes to their sound. Ours is Chrome plays with the formula a bit, and it pays off big. The band, and their fans should be extremely proud of the final product.