Oakland rock outfit Night Herons’ sophomore release, ‘Relevant Noise’, is permeated by guitar-driven melodies guided by dark themes

'Relevant Noise' Album Cover, Night Herons

Oakland rock trio Night Herons takes their vantage point of alt music-makers and adds in their makeshift of social commentary to concoct a mixture of hard rock that talks about everything from disillusionment to social dissension and alcoholism on their sophomore release, Relevant Noise. 

Comprised of Dana Barry (vocals, drums, guitar), Mike Assenzio (guitars), Larry Huene (guitars, drums), the band first formed in June 2013 with Barry recruiting the help of Assenzio (formerly of East Bay outfit The Wounded Men), who then recruited the help of friend and former bandmate Huene.  The trio found they had great chemistry together and decided they would record their first studio album together without playing a live show.  The band started writing, producing, and recording, Shipyard Riot, in March 2014, and celebrated its release by playing their very first show at the Make Out Room in San Francisco.

The group started recording brand new material in summer of 2016, and Relevant Noise is the result of such efforts.

The album opens up with “Compromise” that starts off with a demanding string of guitars that produce a wall of effects in the gamut of this rocking track.  The song includes a moody appeal and an ominous indestructible pull on the full-range of instruments on the guitar and drums.  Overall, a gritty sound could be heard over the busy clash of drums, giving off a thrusting upbeat approach to the hard rock feel to the track.  About compromising your whole life away and only reaching towards the middle ground to every reconciliation, something is about to give in this dark song with its classic rock vibe.

“Fighters & Lovers” is ill-contained with pitch-perfect radio-active guitars.  The gigantic sound gives way to vocals that also give life to a larger-than-life scale.  About a look into the lives of a few individuals in a small town whose lives are on the cusp of chaos, a cacophony of wide-ranging and long-striding guitars pave the way accompanied by drums on this electric composition.

On “Blurred,” the album slows down to produce this dynamic-sounding ballad.  Overall, a slow-burning track that traces beneath the gamut of this song with melodic guitars and a welling of drums, the track is about how the setting of a dilapidated town correlates to the run-down personification of a relationship.  An epic guitar solo sounds off mid-way into the song.

“Wildfires” is a rocking ballad that syncs a wall of guitars with deliberate dancing drums.  The track also enlists the deranged and sand-papery gritty vocals from Barry.  The song comes across as a world-weary dirge with lyrics that talk about a dynamic relationship with this couple’s every interaction like a prevalent wind blowing the embers to a wildfire.  This track is paved by enticing and melodic guitars being supported by the steady rhythms on drums.

“Sunflowers” harnesses the combined effort on guitars that form a wall of speedy duress, feeding into the maelstrom of a perfect storm.  The big rocking track is about a narrator whose life is heading down the drains but for the picturesque sunflowers that are placed by his bed-side that inspires and makes him “feel alright” again.  Busy and spiraling guitars progress on this song.

On “Glaciers,” the track blends raucous guitars and some fast drums to build up an upbeat feel to this rocking sound.  The song describes feelings of feeling frozen and slowly regaining the fiery substance of life again as you let these icebergs melt away from your life.

“Let Me In” is a haunting and dreamy sounding track with an eerie vibe.  Barry’s whispery vocals fill the track with the drums and guitars sidling in next.

“Feels Like A Breakdown” is filled with melodic guitars and snarling drums.  About hitting the brinks and with nowhere to turn to and no one to hold your hand, your life is at a standstill.  Barry’s nit-gritty vocals really take you there.

“2×2” is filled with upbeat drumming that underlines the gamut of this song accompanied by reverberating guitar riffs.  About a man and his lackluster life in which he sees his life in only 2 dimensions, this only goes on to spell out trouble for him.

“Blue River” contains an upbeat, rocking sound with a hard rock approach filled with moody and ominous guitars that give off a highly atmospheric vibe.  A deranged feel permeates this track, which is about someone who’s down on their luck and finds solace and an escape route in the Blue River.

“Bad Idea” has fizzy guitar riffs with a cascade of up-tempo drums.  The dark song is about a narrator who wakes up on the wrong side of the bed and finds himself settling into a bad sort of vibe.

“Stay Awake” ascends with a wave of interwoven guitars and speedy drums.  This slow-burner is about staying awake to circumvent the on-slaughter of nightmares.

The Night Herons’ raw execution continues in such tracks like the melodic guitars and marching beat on “Razorblade,” on the reverberating guitars and upbeat drums on “10,000 Women,” and the blaring and radio-active guitar licks on “Overload.”

The Night Herons keeps it relevant with their album, Relevant Noise.  With a well-ordered raw and organic sound that gives off a fervent and off-the-wall vibe, these hard rockers are no staunch for holding back.

Get caught up in the snarling guitar riffs and drum snares that fuses a hard rock sound with social commentary, giving this 15-track compilation a daring and hard-edge twist.

Intertwined with growling vocals and interwoven with ecstatic, wide-ranging guitars and fast drums, these electric tracks exemplify the sounds and stylings of rock pioneers The Stooges and the New York Dolls.

Executed out of dark, disparaging themes comes a melodic guitar-driven sound being pounded together by steady drums.

Be caught up in the excitement today and have a listen!

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My Nguyen

My Nguyen is a CD reviewer from San Diego, CA. She regularly contributes to TheCelebritycafe.com. She has also has her fiction and book reviews published at Community Voices, Espresso1, Whistling Fire, The Pedestal, Straylight Magazine, Baby Lawn Literature, and Ultimate Writer Quarterly.