Walls of thick, dissonant fuzz and ghostly reverb-soaked vocals make Chainsaw Rainbow’s Heavy Sad Love one hazy beast of a record.
Sounding somewhat like early Flying Saucer Attack, this album is filled with distorted, hypnotically droning guitars that easily make you feel as if you’ve been hurled into outer space. The buzzing guitars are often like a thick aural mist, obscuring all other sounds around you, allowing only for the occasional haunting voice or a few eerie stray keyboard notes to loom out of the fog.
The waves of guitar static that permeate throughout most of the record seldom ebb and give way to pearls of calm, but when they do; it really cleanses your palette. The most notable example of this is when the growling “Exotic Features” fades into the gorgeously serene “Deserted.” Appearing like an eye in the storm, this cosmic track features a lilting, echoing vocal that sounds like a sole monk chanting deep within a cavernous cathedral, while ethereal wind-like pulses swirl in the background. The piece brings to mind the likes of Popol Vuh and Landing while allowing your brain to relax before it’s attacked by the mutated feedback of the next (and aptly titled) track, “Melt Down,” which revs up like a power drill on acid.
The overall mood of the album is largely a lonesome one. From the music’s cold, isolated lo-fi ambience to the track titles themselves, like “No Love,” “4 A.M.” and of course “Loner,” there’s an introspective desolation here that is hard to miss. This quality makes this record a perfect one to play while you’re alone on a long flight and you’ve got hours to dreamily look out at the passing cloudscapes around you.
Sounding like a haunting, distant radio station that you can hear through the scattering interference on your A.M. radio, Heavy Sad Love will leave you feeling dazed and mystified enough to think about and listen to the album several times a day.