Heroes and Villains' latest a classic Detroit record 

Back in 2006, Heroes & Villains' Themes from the Dark Pink Circus (X!) was a sort of grail to a lot of folks around here. With its mix of haunting psychedelia and pop-perfect songcraft, it was at once instantly listenable while also rewarding repeated spins.

But these guys come from a rich tradition of bands — say, Simply Saucer in the '70s, the Feelies in the '80s — who don't really give a fuck. That is, they care, certainly, about making music, writing really cool songs, and putting them together on awesome albums. But try finding that 2006 gem, for instance — good luck. You pretty much have to corner a band member to get one, and even then there's no guarantee.

On Heroes & Villains II, we have that same attitude, grown now to a mystique. It shows Heroes & Villains making this beautiful, organic music with no regard toward cultivating an audience. (In other words, it's a classic Detroit record.) Folky-guitar ruminations like "Neverending" and "Far Beyond" sit alongside full-speed spaced-out face-melters (see "Spearhead" and "Study of Insects"). And it's all of a piece. There are songs that really can only be described as Heroes & Villains songs (see: "Vanilla Yellow," "Solar System/Hurricane Fighter Plane").

The basic sound features singer/guitarist Ernie Fackler's half-asleep-with-eyes-wide-open vocals and alternately soaring and strangled guitar, nestled into Jeff Fournier's mountain-man-stepping-over-a-canyon bass and drummer Andrew Lakin's artful bashing. This is supreme late night listening, whether spliffed, smashed, or straight.

The record is available digitally on Lo & Behold's Bandcamp, with promises of a physical release coming soon. Oh yeah: it was recorded in 2007. And it's great. And they never put it out. That's how much they don't give a fuck. But if you want to hear a killer record, here you have one.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 12, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation