Hell's Logo's Pink

Heaven For Real are having fun with us. On Hell’s Logo’s Pink, their latest mini-album; twin Canadian songwriters Mark and J. Scott Grundy traverse a withering limboscape while sporting wide-eyed grins. Lyrical themes of spiritual ambivalence (“All That Remains”), doomer delusions and devotions, acute grief (“Biting Down With The Fangs''), solipsism, and ephemeral love (''Wichita's”) float with the band’s signature sonic buoyancy atop a refreshingly dark sea of material.

After 2023 tours of North America and the UK and a breathless 2022 run of releases (the EP Sweet Rose Green Winter Desk Top Tell This Side Autumn Of The Fighter Hot In A Cool Way and sophomore LP, Energy Bar), they began self-recording and producing songs in a solar battery and wood stove-powered Toronto studio (Coach House Sound) amid winter 2023-24. 

Facing limitations both in personnel and resources, the duo worked to develop a newly agile approach to their idiosyncratic rock arrangements – embracing a necessary kind of spontaneity, “the battery would drain really quick when running all of our recording gear, so we had to do pretty much everything in one take,” J. Scott remarks. Other familiar players make appearances too, with live H4R collaborators Johnathan Pappo (Ducks Ltd., No Frills) drumming on the spritely kickoff of “Oh No” and Laura Jeffery (Laughing, Fountain) lending her voice through the sunken pop crackles of “Blankets of White”. Mixed by fellow songwriter/producers Louie Short and Andrew McLeod (Sunnsetter, Zoon), the songs bridge a fiery confluence of styles with ease.

“There isn’t a note on the record without something burning in the background,” offers Mark; and with the titular correlation in mind, there is a Cerberus-headed energy serving as guardian and guide here. Taking the listener through devil-may-care melodies (“Platforms”) and rhythms full of promise and still ragged optimism (“Love That Moves Faster {Than Death}”); this release ignites yet another era for the project — one perfectly emblematized by the flaming bubblegum chaos collection of its album cover, illustrated by the artist Maddy Matthews.

RIYL: The Pixies, Cate LeBon, Surface To Air Missive, Violent Femmes, Autolux