Heavenly The Decline And Fall Of Heavenly

Label
Skep Wax Records
Released
2nd February 2024

Format Info

LP - black vinyl

Skep Wax Records are re-issuing all four Heavenly albums over a two year period, and this is the third instalment, following on from ‘Heavenly vs Satan’ and ‘Le Jardin De Heavenly’.

Each LP includes relevant single releases as additional tracks, a 7” booklet with lyrics, pictures, and new sleeve notes by the members of the band.  Altogether, the four albums will amount to a thorough collection of the band’s recorded output.

The third Heavenly album will be re-released by Skep Wax Records on Friday 2nd February.  The re-release will also include all five tracks from the Atta Girl and P.U.N.K Girl 7” singles.

The Atta Girl and P.U.N.K. Girl singles were released in 1993; album The Decline and Fall of Heavenly came soon after in 1994: collectively they show a band that is rapidly expanding its scope.  The album veers confidently from high speed indiepunk (Me And My Madness) to cool surf instrumental (Sacramento) and back again to the sweetest indiepop (Itchy Chin).  Meanwhile, the singles, which include the band’s most celebrated tune – P.U.N.K Girl – demonstrates how much confidence Heavenly were deriving from their involvement in the nascent Riot Grrrl scene.  All the anger is there, the politics are direct and crystal clear – yet the whole thing is still delivered with the sweetest pop melodies.  It’s like being punched and kissed at the same time.

The three releases also show how Heavenly had come to feel equally at home in the UK and in the US.  The album maybe feels more British, as demonstrated by the Old World irony of the ‘Decline and Fall’ title.  At Heavenly gigs in the UK, often playing with other bands on the increasingly influential Sarah Records, audiences were getting bigger, while the bands were finding a sweet spot where anti-corporate understatement and a dismissive attitude to an increasingly misogynist UK Press was no barrier to success.  P.U.N.K Girl and Atta Girl on the other hand, are more gleeful, more headlong, and somehow feel more American: they are  carried along by the excitement and adrenaline of having found another spiritual home – the indiepunk Riot Grrrl scene that was focussed on Olympia, WA, the HQ of Heavenly’s US label K Records. (K released P.U.N.K Girl and Atta Girl together on one 10” EP.)

Amelia Fletcher and Cathy Rogers were now confidently sharing vocals, sometimes harmonising, sometimes taking it in turns, sometimes singing over each other.  Peter (guitar) Mathew (drums) and Rob (bass) had become adept at changing gear from ornate pop to full-on punk, unafraid of genre rules and increasingly happy to make up their own version of what pop music should sound like.

Other Releases by Heavenly