The Last Mixed Tape reviews In Heat Not Sorry, the long-awaited debut album from psych-rock outfit the Altered Hours.
In Heat Not Sorry is musique noir. Made to be projected onto a late-night cinema screen in flickering black and white, this is music of the night.
With its focus centred on jilted textural tones, the Altered Hours debut is so stylistically on-point that it occupies a world all of its own. One of shadowed emotions, want, isolation and decay.
The nihilistic unease of ‘Who’s Saving Who’, the slow-burning tension of ‘Way of Sorrow’, and the persistent screech of ‘Citadel’ all rest the mood of In Heat Not Sorry on a knife-edge. Leaving the album’s meaning cloaked in ambiguity.
From their early beginnings on the more genre defined Sweet Jelly Roll E.P, the Altered Hours have always been a band whose sound was pushing its own boundaries. On In Heat Not Sorry they continue this but with more control, everything about the album’s production serves the overall tone. And, tone is king on this record.
With ‘Laughing On Their Knees’ the album does resolve, and we get an ending of sorts. But in that classic noir fashion it’s not clear if it is a positive or negative resolution. The Altered Hours take us on a journey that feels like we’ve come in at the middle and finishes like we haven’t seen the end.
The Altered Hours don’t want us to feel at ease with In Heat Not Sorry, even after its over and the cinema’s empty.
In Heat Not Sorry by the Altered Hours is out now via Art for the Blind.