Black Hearted Brother Stars Are Our Home

Black Hearted Brother Stars Are Our Home
6
When news struck that Neil Halstead (Slowdive, Mojave 3) formed a band with Mark Van Hoen (formerly of Seefeel), the Internet shook with hopes that the two would be gazing down at their shoes just like the good old days. Along with Coley Park's Nick Holton, the super-group of sorts composed a record mostly through email in 2011. All three of them would begin a song and then pass it along, using a loose, unedited system. Stars Are Our Home is the trio's debut, and despite all of their combined experience, it feels like a young band at work, for better and worse. They miss the mark on the opening title track, a sloppy instrumental that suggests an improv psych jam, but nail "(I Don't Mean To) Wonder," a shameless shoegaze treat that imagines Slowdive as a rock band. Unfortunately, over 64 minutes, the album loses momentum due to its divisive songwriting. Halstead could have saved "Look Out Here They Come" and "This is How it Feels" for Mojave 3, while Van Hoen should have saved "I'm Back" for the next Seefeel LP, although this more ambient path is one BHB should've explored deeper. Stars Are Our Home is too much of a hodgepodge. That said, should they ever spend time in a studio actually writing together, Black Hearted Brother could make the album their collective fans are dying to hear. (Slumberland)