In the rich realm of the Heliotropes everything is dark and buzzy. Cici on drums, Nya on bass, Amber on percussion and vocals, Jessica on lead guitar and vocals, the lyrics, the album art (some of which, “I Walked With a Zombie,” was created by Steve Manale of the Scott Pilgrim comic), the attitude, the look, the accolades, even the name (a red and black mineral also known as a bloodstone).
The band’s first LP, A Constant Sea, is a veritable ode to the early nineties. It’s been said before, but for good reason, these four women will take you back. Back to the initial days of Hubble, commercial internet service, economic prosperity, and the reign of Seattle grunge. Listen to their live cover of Nirvana’s “Negative Creep” back-to-back with the real thing, and the essence comes across loud and clear. Thick, fuzzy guitar, muddled vocals and slightly deranged zest.
A Constant Sea is strong and loud, true it its roots, from top to bottom. Even the slower, less raucous tracks toward the latter half of the album maintain the spirit of their muddy brand of psychedelic rock. The lyrics, either screamed or sung in gloomy harmony, provide a satisfying jolt to the shadowy makeup of this debut LP.
From where I sit, the Heliotropes are four Brooklyn women with bona fide chops and a taste for grit that we should all keep an ear on.