The post-grunge, alternative-rock group from Minneapolis called Halo Minor have released their new EP album, “Further-Now You're Close.” The record contains six original tracks for an approximate total listening time approaching half an hour. It has been proudly published as an independent release without the involvement of the corporate music industry. Melodic and orchestral, thrumming and soaring, passionate and a little dark, “Further-Now You're Close” by Halo Minor mustn't be missed be fans of alt-rock and the grunge tradition.
Halo Minor cite as chief influences Queen, the Smashing Pumpkins, Pink Floyd, Failure, Alice in Chains, Faith No More, Tool, the National, Sia Furler (Crisp), the Cure, and the Mars Volta.
Some Halo Minor attributes can be directly traced to these inspirations, yet they bear the creative twists of HM, themselves. Their towering vocal harmonies recall those of Alice in Chains but with a surprisingly affirming, choral character rather than the cynical delivery of Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell. The Pumpkins-esque guitars on “Further...” (of which there seem to be a thousand) come in warm waves and reverberate from all directions, roaring, rushing, plunging and charging.
Songwriting plays a key role in the achievement that is “Further-Now You're Close” by Halo Minor, too, particularly in the instrumental composition of each track. Ignoring for a moment its exceptional vocals, the EP could easily give listeners enough to chew on with just its evocative chord progressions and startling turns of musical phrase. Taken simply as instrumentals, these songs are highly narrative.
Halo Minor's vocals – an accomplishment in themselves – supply a large share of HM's signature sound, though, and their lyrics are satisfyingly deliberate in an age that often rewards the insipid and punishes the thought provoking. If the same above experiment were applied to the vocal tracks on “Further-Now You're Close,” the result would resemble a haunting yet beautiful choir.
HM's total personality depends on more, however. Bass lines tell their own story, marrying the guitars to the drums and often sounding somehow heroic when rising above the din. Keyboard phrases appear, filling out the sound in ways one wouldn't think possible and falling back into the music so subtly that the listener sometimes still hears them after they've gone. The percussion of Halo Minor represents a wonder of tasteful aggression, having an almost jazz-like quality in its spaciousness and an explosiveness in its timekeeping, like a remarkably mindful and creative combustion engine.
Naturally, the combination of all the above produces the greatest effect, that of Minnesota's own Halo Minor.
Halo Minor's current official bio describes their songs as “sonic descriptors of feelings, people and places left behind; beautiful living memories and yet, due to time, sometimes corrupted like a faded photo, beauty in a state of repose and then reborn from remembrance.”
“Further-Now You're Close” by Halo Minor is available at over 700 stores online worldwide. Get in early, fans of alt-rock and grunge. Very, very early.
Halo Minor are Blake Nolan Hanson (Floozie, Livid Lover) bassist Kerry Dalton Hanson (Black Flood Diesel, Numm, Atlas Shrugged), keyboard/vocalist Zack Jones, lead guitarist Danny Gan and drummer Devin Tomczik.
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