Psychedelic surf-rock act from Grand Rapids visits Ace of Cups
Heaters' story is the tale of a million other bands that have bounced around the Great Lakes region in a beat-up cargo van. Three dudes (whittled down from an initial five) rent an old house and spend the cold, isolating winters crafting noisy, lively songs that harken to the fun they had when it wasn't so cold and isolating.
Miserable weather and secondhand instruments don't always add up to anything of merit, and most examples of this sort of band are forgettable. Heaters? Not so much. Instead of succumbing to the dreary, endless gray of a Grand Rapids winter, Heaters sounds like a direct line back to its own endless summer.
The band plays around with the accoutrements of surf rock and proto-hippie '60s psychedelic flourishes, all built around a solid yet laid-back guitar trio setup. These influences sound much less like influences and a lot more like happy discoveries from endless jamming.
It is more akin to trying to create surf rock from a description in a textbook than it is from actually listening to it. And honestly, for the listener it is much more rewarding. Heaters may not be reinventing the wheel with any of this, but they are inventing their own version of the wheel night after night. I can't think of a better way to spend the winter.
Comrade Question and Nightstalker open. (Don't miss it)