by | Oct 25, 2012 | Indie Pop, Reviews

Heat Waves

Portland, OR

(Tender Loving Empire)

“High-energy experimental pop, happily engaging and dynamic”


A dynamic and inventive group, Brainstorm offers a gratifying look at Portland, while remaining one of the city’s best-kept secrets. It is hard to imagine that it’s just two people, but you’ll have to hear it to believe it. Their talents are undeniable.

Their new release Heat Waves is a diverse set of ten stunning songs, brilliantly arranged and orchestrated with an entire myriad of sounds and instruments. They present well in one package a broad spectrum of musical ideas, perhaps a summed up version of the Portland music scene on record. The dedication and sweat this duet puts into their record shows with conviction their growth and potential.

Captivating and magnetic, the energy is remarkable throughout. Much of the music consists of varying polyrhythms and mesmerizing vocal harmonies that blow the mind. It’s this vision that sustains listener’s interests. When in the right mood, this record is unparalleled in keeping one engaged, never tiring one to settle into boredom.

The jangly, reverbed guitars splash with wonder against high-energy drums, and the vocals are quite soothing. Overall, the record never fails to bring out feelings of elation and cheerfulness. Fresh new sounds often surface, new treats to discover with each repeated listen.

Certainly capable of pulling off the dazzling gifts of a Radiohead OK Computer show, Brainstorm’s effort perhaps fits more into the realm of Canada’s New Pornographers.

Check out the breathtaking lead guitar riffs opening up in “Maybe a Memory,” and the liquid flow of glistening drums in “Forms Without A Frame.” Wow.