Since the birth of Mojo20.com, there have been certain bands or artists that we’ve ended up championing, and for no other reason than the fact they’ve captured our attention and imagination like nobody else at the time. These names may get more mentions than anybody else simply because we find ourselves having more to say about them than a lot of other acts. One of those acts would be Atlanta-based indie rockers Interstellar. Front man, Sid Wilson is a personal friend and even created Mojo20 logo, so we’ve had our eyes firmly soldered onto the creation of ‘Winter heart’, as well as helping to promote the band and their innovative fundraising campaign to get the money together to produce the album. Of course, now the albums out, it’s time to get completely impartial and give ‘Winter heart’ the review it deserves. Even the fact that Mojo20 and myself get a special mention in the sleeve, will definitely not sway any biased, or decorate my opinion as anything other than what it is based on the music. Definitely not…
So, this is basically another review based solely on my impression from the first listen. The albums playing as I write this, and the beginning of the album, is a welcome one. A sound scape introduction called ‘Sunburst’ is the first thing we hear, and it does suit as an intro. Images of Atlanta, Georgia waking up on a Saturday morning on playing on the screen in my head, and you can see the sun come up, and the first cars arriving on the roads as the city comes to life. It’s powerful and executed perfectly when it comes to building up an atmosphere. As a debut it’s the perfect beginning. Production quality is clear as we segue into second track ‘Sold ya soul to feel the blues’. It’s a tight, and tidy segue into a song that throws back to great British music of the mid to late 90’s. If you played me this song and told me it was the Verve’s new material, I wouldn’t call you a complete liar. It has that Manchester, Britpop feel to it, but with an authenticity and an authority. It’s the real deal.
Another tight segue leads us to ‘Better give it up’, which rolls in with a driving drum beat and what sounds like a harmonica following it. This one is a more upbeat and up-tempo number, and I can imagine this one being a big sing along for fans at live performances. I can see the chorus to this, going through my mind all day (Finally, I’ll get that new Lady Gaga song out of my head that Elisha keeps singing) due to how catchy and strong it is. Track three is definitely my favourite so far from this already impressive piece of work. But that’s not to say it won’t all change and especially when we ‘roll’ towards the first promoted single from the LP, ‘Holy roller’. Track four is a rock and roll epic, and it’s very cleverly written. It’s got low, gentle guitar based moments in the right places, it’s got drum heavy builds in all the right places, and it’s got that British snarl from the lead singer in all of the right places, and then the whole thing is glossed over with an American sheen that just sets it apart from everything else. It’s obvious to see why this one was selected as the song to push to fans as the album was being released. I do like the way, the album never settles on a mood, it’s a journey and it keeps you guessing all the way through. You can be rocking out to ‘Holy Roller’ one minute but a few tracks down the line, you’ll be wiping the tears away while being serenaded with ‘Stargazer’. Another highlight for me from the album is track seven just basically because of its sentiment and vulnerability. It’ actually a gorgeous track and could be released as a single too I expect.
This ten track odyssey of British music at its finest, is crafted with love and attention, and it’s clear from the incredible production work and the meticulously written songs, that this album means a lot to all four gentlemen that make up Interstellar and I don’t even believe it to be the success of the album that means the most, but the important part would be to know that they’ve created a piece of art that they can be proud of and will represent them and their passion for music. Each member of the band is as talented as the next, and the musicianship on this album is amazing. I might normally plant my ears on one particular instrument for a while to follow it and scrutinise it, but I find it hard here, as my attention is drawn to a different corner of the band every time I attempt to get settled. The guitars are a highlight however, and some of the riffs and short solos throughout the album are spellbinding. If you like music that means something and has substance to it, then you’ll want Interstellar’s ‘Winter heart’. If you like to support local music (despite them currently being about 4158 miles away from Lincoln, UK as the crow flies) then you’ll want to buy a copy of Interstellar’s ‘White heart’, and if you like to spend your money on something worthwhile such as ten tracks of carefully crafted music that spells an extremely credible debut for a band of very talented blokes then… You know what to do.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)