Album Review: Good Heavens - Strange Dreams

6 August 2012 | 12:05 pm | Brendan Telford

Strange Dreams is a ferocious mission statement, a feverish mark of intent that’s exhilarating in its confidence.

From little things, big things grow. Or, from dissolutions, stronger incarnations grow. Good Heavens sees theredsunband's Sarah Kelly teaming with Myles Heskett and Chris Ross (they who left the ballooning ego-trip of Wolfmother back in 2008). This threesome isn't that far removed from her former band, except that where once the backbone of her songs was sinuous, it's now made of titanium. The cover art of debut album, Strange Dreams – multi-coloured pulled teeth – is a bizarrely fitting image for a brace of tracks that appears at once dreamlike and vicious.

Things kick off with Know Your Own Heart, a soulful number that bubbles above with a soaring final third driven by Kelly's heavily-distorted guitar. It's a call to arms, reinforced as It's Not Easy Being Mean and Are You Sick? roar with acrid intensity. The lilting fragility of I Am Not Afraid is a red herring, as Anybody But You tears back into the aggressive nature that the trio prove they do so well. It would be fair to assume that Kelly's breathy, fragile vocals would struggle to rise above such a heavy display of acid-tinged rock heft, but it stays afloat, its incongruous nature helping to accentuate the brute force of the instrumentation. I've Got This Feeling and Down On Me are more reminiscent of the early days of theredsunband, especially as the volume is tempered, allowing Ross' organ to make a prominent entry – before Kelly's solo shatters the uneasy truce.

Strange Dreams is a ferocious mission statement, a feverish mark of intent that's exhilarating in its confidence. Resolute to the final chord, Good Heavens refuse to go quietly into the dark, dark night.