Focused and freewheeling is how you may musically describe HEY!TONAL. With an approach that is completely spontaneous and uninhibited, this is a band that brings new meaning to the adjective “experimental,” particularly on their latest single “Kcraze.” The song can be found on their self-titled album that was originally released in 2009. Now twelve years later, they have decided to reissue it as a special double LP vinyl edition that will drop on October 8th via conceptual label Computer Students.
“Kcraze” is one of the more hard-hitting tracks on the record, and it’s very much representative of the different elements you’ll find on this release. With droning electronic distortions, the song mixes tension and innovation with the band’s anything-goes attitude when it comes to songwriting. It’s like a great big ball of mesmerizing electronic distortion.
Commenting on the single, band member Mitch Cheney shares, “In the bands I have played in, the drums have always been a reaction to the melodies that had been written, opposed to being the catalyst for the melody to be written over. Hey!Tonal was conceived from the idea of the drumbeat being the impetus for melody. During this time (around 2006), I was moving over from music composition to video editing. I was shocked at how much story-line material would end up on the floor of a show once it was finished and ready to be broadcast… like the blood of the eventually ingested meat still staining the footprints of the miles walked to create a meal… and how valid, yet expendable, each drop was.
“The company I was working for, Transition Productions, specialized in a documentary approach in action sports, so there was always a multitude of ways to tell each particular story arc within a show, and a ton of material would be moved/manipulated chronologically to tell each story in the best way possible. Seeing this happen within the elements of a documentary edit inspired me to want to do the same thing with sounds and melodies; to take a bunch of musical animals and reconstitute their parts into new and unsuspected creatures.”
Featuring members of Maps & Atlases, Storm & Stress, Joan of Arc, Rumah Sakit, Sleeping People, and Chevreuil. HEY!TONAL, the album, was a highly ambitious project, written and composed between 2006 and 2008. Recorded over a vast geographical area, the album is striking, to say the least, with all of its raw moments and little inconsistencies that made it a truly one-of-a-kind collection of tracks.
Lending credence to impulse and inclination, so-called happy accidents were offered a purpose during the recording and mixing process, with thunderous guitars and drums blended with a horde of improvisation. The complete product is an experimental wonder that will make you ponder, “just how the hell did these guys bring this all coherently together?”
HEY!TONAL Track Listing:
Disc 1: Sides A & B:
1. If Flash Gordon Was A Sk8r
4. Tao Of Chin Drapery
Disc 2: Sides C & D:
5. Smarmy Faulkner
7. Carl Sagan Is The Long Form Of Bitchin’
8. The Best Way To Say Goodbye Is With A Silent Ride Off Into The Sunset… Or On A Boat Or Something