Small Bear Records began 2015 by releasing the debut EP from This Heel and we are ending it with the third EP entitled III. The solo work of Martin Månsson Sjöstrand, prolific frontman of Sweden’s Dog, Paper, Submarine (who themselves released a new EP in 2015, with another due in early 2016),
This Heel deals in catchy and melodic lo-fi indie-rock with slacker undertones.
Where EP II was largely acoustic, III sees a return to more electricity, plugs and leads. still with that laid back approach, modern day nostalgia. This Heel, reference points include the likes of Guided By Voices, Neutral Milk Hotel to early Sebadoh, you can feel the focus via opening tracks like Hexagon Head or the memorable ‘Periscope Man’, theirs more of a Beck nod to ‘Hoag’s Object’, less dislocated vocal on the more upbeat ‘Stop The Flow’.
The ‘lll’ EP is not a concept themed release, just heavily stylised from fave, ‘Problem On Earth’, also ‘Dragon Hiss’ evokes distant memories of ‘Geffen Rarities’ compilation from back in the 1990’s. Recorded with an iPhone adds to the DIY ethic if not the lo-fi one, not too say the quality is bad, just a bit more straight-forward it seems. Prefer the plugged-in approach more, the ‘lll’ EP gets the nod, another worthwhile download, available on a name-your-price basis (here) suggest thanks to Small Bear Records and Martin Månsson Sjöstrand another solid outing, 7.9/10