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the situationals | heaven is high and the emperor is far away

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Pop: Power Pop Rock: 80's Rock Moods: Mood: Fun
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heaven is high and the emperor is far away

by the situationals

modern melodic post-punk powerpop
Genre: Pop: Power Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. sometimes
3:02 $0.99
2. boys of troy
5:49 $0.99
3. way too blue
3:49 $0.99
4. something for him
4:24 $0.99
5. hardest walk
3:21 $0.99
6. play
4:48 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Situationals
Heaven Is High and the Emperor Is Far Away
By Fred Mills
Stomp and Stammer

For a couple of weeks this song "Way Too Blue" has been tugging at the corners of my cortex and driving me crazy. It's not the most complex number - basically, just a spangly, arpeggiated riff, part-Edge/part-Andy Summers, married to a thrumming rhythm - nor is it the catchiest, at least not in straight pop terms, although the chorus has an ascending chord progression that's the very definition of "anthemic." But it is the most insidiously insistent song I've heard all year, a bonafide pulse-quickener and hip-twitcher. Key among its components: vocalist Candice Bassett, who with her sensual coo, operatic delivery and tuff-gal swagger, brings to mind a cross between Debbie Harry, the Motels' Martha Davis and early '70s proto-grrrl rocker June Millington (Fanny).

Song after song on this mini-album from Charlotte's Situationals has its own compelling twist: crunching opener "Sometimes" is pure Clash; "Boys Of Troy," with its martial thump and guitar lick sneakily nicked from the Go-Gos' "Our Lips Are Sealed," is destined to be embraced by the post-punk, dance-club set; and a Jesus & Mary Chain cover, "Hardest Walk," adds a hint of the classic girl-group productions of Phil Spector to the Situationals' already widescreen equation. Throughout, Bassett, abetted by her four male co-conspirators, exudes genuine star quality as her emotions -- one moment vulnerable, the next guarded, then stricken, but full of resolve - unfurl.

I haven't seen the band live. But based on the sonic evidence here, I can say that the Situationals are the most exciting female-fronted Tarheel band since Fetchin Bones or the Graphic. Direct your browser to the group's MySpace hub (www.myspace.com/thesituationals) and hear for yourselves.

our favorite norwegian review ever:
Have been listening to your cd heaven..., a couple of times now.
Good music and great guitars. Lyrics are nice too, something that everyone
can recognize them self in, lovely voice for sure.
Best songs "play" and "hardest walk"
I think you sounds like a mix of "pretenders" and old "walkabouts" (great band)
which i had the pleasure to see here in Trondheim in 93 or 94 i think.

Torkild Steinholt

the situationals are a rock band from charlotte nc ...........they love punk rock, new wave, jangly alternative, and power pop.......the situationals have been together a little while.......some longer than others........the situationals used to be in tabascohottie, white merle, the reconstruction, and the bond..........some of them were in free range chickens and the mid-sized luxury band......Creative Loafings Tim Davis calls them, "an equal mix of pop, post-punk, and college-rock coloring, heavy on the indie-go blue."_ Jill Austin says, " A creative mix of memorable hooks and funky rhythms, The Situationals make you want to buy their debut album...". ____ Bellglide's Adam Roth says, "The Situationals just get better every time I see them!" __Amps 11 magazine says, " The Situationals hit the stage with a high energy set that was a mix between present day power pop and early new wave, circa 1980's Blondie." _ Neil Allen of The Virginia Reel raves, "The Situationals bring the rock!" ___Todd Day from www.ampseleven.com says, "The Situationals kicked things off with a boogie-tastic set of their signature rock/pop/punk hybrid. If you haven't checked out this band yet, please ... please .... do so at the earliest opportunity. The Situationals don't sound like anyone you've ever heard. Singer Candice Bassett is a true rock-star, in every sense of the word ... strutting and shaking what God gave her like there's no tomorrow ... all the while singing at the top of her lungs. Guitarists/bassists Kelly Morse, Bryan Askew and Michael Carinelli and drummer Jason Perkins are four of Charlotte's most talented musicians and songwriters. The Situationals are one of the few bands who can switch styles in mid-stream from danceable, jangly pop to driving rock without missing a beat. They have an EP on the way which will showcase their unbelievable talent. Stay tuned here for information about the EP."

review of heaven is high and the emperor is far away:

If you haven't seen The Situationals live yet, you should. They play pretty regularly around the Charlotte area and they are consistantly great every night at the pop/punk/melodic/alternative/rock sound that they do so well. A throwback to some great act like Pat Benetar, Blondie, and The Pretenders, The situationals put a modern spin on the vintage '80's pop rock genre and make it their own. The blistering emotion of female vocalist, Candice Bassett over the top of some catchy beats, driving guitar runs and some very tasteful atmospheric synthesizer pads makes for a great sound. The Situationals take that sound, mix in some great stage personality and punk attitude and make one of the most innovative, obnoxious, and rock-your-face-off live shows you've seen in this town. I know I'm supposed to be reviewing the ep Heaven is High and The Emperor is Far Away right now but I wanted to talk about the energy of the band's live performance because, after seeing them and listening to the ep, I was most impressed by how well they captured the feel of their live show. The production is amazing. The vocals are stellar. The music does all the right things at the right times. With production by The Situationals' own Kelly Morse and recorded at Audioworks and Rocket 13, the band has really outdone themselves with this piece of high voltage, melodic rock. "Way Too Blue" seems to be the standout track on this ep, highlighting the band's ability to subtly work their way into a frenzy beginning with melodic guitars and lyrics over a driving beat that graduates into rock chorus juxtaposed by passionate harmonies that make you want to listen again and again. Heaven is High and The Emperor is Far Away is something you don't want to miss.

Seth Boulton

Amps 11 Magazine

Sept 2006

indiematters.com review:
Press play for the 1st time and you feel as though you stepped into the gymnasium for the school dance scene of a John Hughes flick. While the feeling stays with you, it is not all the Situationals bring to the table. The six track EP heaven is high and the emperor is far away makes an 80’s meets 90’s sound timeless. By the third listen you will find yourself tapping your foot, singing along and maybe it will even inspire a little chair dance.

Candice Bassett‘s playful yet meaningful delivery of the lyrics has a sound somewhere between Pat Benatar and Linda Perry (4 Non Blondes). So while you feel the need to dance you are reminded she has something important to say.

It has been said that a band is only as good as its drummer. Jason’s beats create the perfect foundation. Complete with dueling guitars to the occasional keyboard solo (Something for Him), each component must be present or Candice’s powerful yet sultry vocals would overshadow a group of lesser musicians.

“Something For Him” demonstrates a powerful side, it is easily the track that shows off all of the layers of The Situationals. “Hardest Walk” brings you through a range of emotions beginning with a solid bass line which leads you from medium pace rock through a softer side and back again. “Play” is as soft as this record gets. With a solid beat the guitar brings you into a dreamlike state. The vocals almost dictate the “lighter lit sway.”

If you are lucky enough to catch these guys at a small venue – GO! Bring your friends. Despite the serious lyrics one can easily tell from the EP it would be a good time!

You can pick up a copy of heaven is high and the emperor is far away at CDBaby.com.

Performer Magazine:
The Situationals — Heaven Is High and the Emperor Is Far Away

Produced by Kelly Morse at Audioworks and Rocket 13 in Charlotte, NC

The Situationals have been considered a throwback to vintage 1980s pop/rock, post-punk and indie rock, and female vocalist Candice Bassett’s vocals sound reminiscent of Martha Davis, lead singer of ‘80s group The Motels.

Joining lead vocalist Bassett are Michael Carinelli, Kelly Morse and Bryan Askew on guitar and bass (the three trade off instruments depending on the song). Tim Poole replaced Shane Human on drums following the recording of their EP.

The Situationals capture the air of college-rock bands sprouting up in the South in the late 1980s and early ‘90s. The instrumentals and vocals ebb and flow through the CD, and while vocals could be stronger on some of the tracks, the catchy beats, guitar riffs and atmospheric synthesizers make for an innovative sound. Fans of the ‘80s era will welcome the original lyrics and composition, and with the retro theme permeating the music scene, the genre has yet to tire out. The Situationals put a fresh new spin on the sound of that era, and once the synthesizers kick in, the music has an added richness not often found in the music of its predecessors. Whether you grew up listening to the sounds of Blondie and The Pretenders or weren’t even born yet, you might find something you like here. The Situationals’ sound has a universality that could captivate an audience of thirty-somethings and teens alike. Now ‘80s music fans can enjoy Reagan-era sound, without the Reagans. As they say, everything old is new again. (Self-released)


-Amanda Durham



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