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Heavenly - The Decline and Fall Of Heavenly (IEX) LP



The Decline and Fall of Heavenly shows a band 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 – demonstrate how much confidence Heavenly were deriving from their involvement in the nascent Riot Grrrl scene.

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.

Amelia Fletcher and Cathy Rogers were now confidently sharing vocals. 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.

The more delicate, more decorative arrangements of Heavenly’s first two albums had been left behind. The band were still dogged by accusations of being too fey, too ‘twee’: not ROCK enough. But, as the chorus of Atta Girl makes clear, any attempts to define Heavenly by their ‘cuteness’ now received an unambiguous response: ‘Fuck you, no way!’

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