Heavenstamp aren’t good because they represent some sudden break from the Japanese rock mainstream, but rather because they take everything the J-Rock bigwigs have made stereotype and give it emotional CPR. Ignore the press courtesy of indie-leaning mags like Snoozer and blogs (cough), Heavenstamp are J-Rock at their core, doing all the things other things J-Pop-troupes-holding-guitars do. The songs lean heavily on repetitiveness and are pop at their center, opportunities for flights into the wild never even imagined let alone implemented. Trick is, they just do it better and with more passion – see the still-inviting wonder of “Morning Glow,” which isn’t remotely complex but soars because of the heart put into this (which mostly comes through the vocals. If someone like Spitz did this it would probably suck).
New single “Waterfall” shows Heavenstamp pulling this trick off once again, although this time around the backing music steps up just as much. Like “Morning Glow,” this number utilizes an ambiguously emotional series of verses leading into a big ol’ release of a chorus. It’s not quite as embracing as “Morning Glow,” lacking the warmth that radiated through that tune. Yet it does have a hell of an ending, the guitars and drums growing louder and louder as do those vocals. This goes on and on…before just sorta stopping, only some stray reverb left to sneak into a darkened corner. This isn’t changing the face of mainstream J-Rock, but “Waterfall” reminds that a little extra energy can make all the difference. Listen below.