Edward Heppenstall
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Edward Heppenstall

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The best kept secret in music


"Edward Heppenstall-Parts That Hate Me"

Once in a while I am sent a CD that doesn't fit the stereotypical indie release. With major labels becoming increasingly picky these days (yet, ironically enough, exhibiting far worse taste than ever before), it's not a shock to find what should be on Warner Bros. or Columbia as a self-released disc. Edward Heppenstall's "Parts That Hate Me" (http://www.edwardheppenstall.com) falls into that category.

Heppenstall is not a hip deconstructionist a la Beck nor is he an avant-pop smartass a la Modest Mouse. Not even close. Instead, Heppenstall recalls mid to late '80s AOR radio, when commercial rock acts borrowed synthesizers from the New Wave set and delivered a drum-heavy style that was less reliant on guitar solos. On "Parts That Hate Me" you'll hear reflections of Peter Gabriel, the Police, and the Call, all staples from that time period.

Does that mean its retro? Surprisingly, no. For all of his old-school studio flavors, Heppenstall doesn't sound as much of a flashback that Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party are. The straightforward arrangements contribute to that; there is no angular post-punk riffing here although the jangling guitars in "Share Them" might delight fans of the Smiths' "William, It Was Really Nothing." Also, Heppenstall has a raspy voice that's more '90s than '80s.

"For Love, For Now" and "Holding on to the Ground" are melodic tracks that don't really fit into these times yet are not dated, either. The funky guitars in "Holding on to the Ground" show a sense of danceable rhythm that is uncommon among today's singer/songwriters.

As one can guess from the title, these are songs that have some thought put into them; if you're looking for intelligent, hook-laden pop, this is it.

Author: Adam Harrington
- Whisperin & Hollerin.co.uk

"Edward Heppenstall-Parts That Hate Me"

I know what you're thinking; you probably saw the name of the artist and became hesitant about reading this. Singer/songwriter Edward Heppenstall shouldn't take it personally. It's not his fault that there are thousands of male solo artists clogging the independent scene, all of them fighting for airspace and a possible label deal. The internet, mp3s, portable studios and CD burners have given birth to a legion of artists who would've faded into obscurity two decades ago, their songs collecting dust on cassette demos. Many of these belong to the unclassified genre of White Men With Guitar.
But stop right there.
Heppenstall isn't a John Mayer or Jack Johnson clone.
In fact, I thought of Peter Gabriel when I saw his arty album cover. Sure enough, Heppenstall, like Gabriel, dances in the land between pop and progressive rock. In other words, the music has a high standard of sophistication; this is not paint-by-numbers pop music. You can tell that somebody has put thought into the arrangements and placement of the hooks.
Before grunge, rock wasn't afraid to be a tad funky -- it's unfortunate that the Seattle brigade had no sense of rhythm, because they influenced music to be tuneless for more than a decade. There's no grunge blood in Heppenstall's system. His songs are melodic with toe-tapping guitar riffs that recall, at times, The Talking Heads, The Police and The Fixx.
You mean...new wave?
Somewhat. Heppenstall doesn't venture all the way into new wave territory, but he does brush against it, which easily separates him from other White Men With Guitar.
If you miss what FM rock radio used to be, playing records with memorable songwriting and top-notch musicianship, then Heppenstall is your ticket home.

Kyrby Raine
- Ink 19

"Edward Heppenstall~Parts That Hate Me"

Edward Heppenstall ~ Parts That Hate Me

Style: Jazz/Funk/Rock

Quote: "Parts That Hate Me is a very smooth, sometimes playful, sometimes intense rock experiment, and I declare it a success."

By Jennifer Layton

There's a beat poet in Edward Heppenstall just scatting to get out. There's also a funkmeister in there somewhere, as well as a classical composer and a dramatic actor. Somehow, Heppenstall manages to incorporate the tastes of all of these extra souls on his debut CD without sounding cluttered. Getting them all to agree on pizza toppings, on the other hand, must be a nightmare.

Parts That Hate Me is a very smooth, sometimes playful, sometimes intense rock experiment, and I declare it a success. I never knew what I'd hear from one track to the next, but I was hanging in there to find out, still grooving to the one I'd just heard.

Heppenstall bursts out of the speakers with "For Love or Now," starting with jangly guitar over creeping bass, and then bursting into jazzy, surreal pop/rock. The song sounds wild and frenzied. It's a thunderstorm of a rock song. That drama rises again and again throughout the CD, but Heppenstall keeps it from blowing right into pretentiousness territory. In the case of "The Act," when the bass goes off on its own little trip, Heppenstall stops the music to rein in the bass player ("hey man, what are you doing?!").

The groove kicks in on "Don't Take Me Down," which I played twice because I wasn't done with my chair dance when it ended the first time. My favorite is the title track. I spent most of it trying to remember what band it reminded me of. Heppenstall may cringe to read this, but it's Spandau Ballet with a harder rock approach. I can hear Tony Hadley singing this song. The harmonies are gorgeous. This is radio gold.

Heppenstall is a fearless artist with a strong singing voice and disdain for boundaries. He's recorded a debut CD he can be proud of. Now if he can just keep the egos of all those multiple personalities in check, he needs to get out on the road with it. Keep an eye on that bass player.
- Indie-Music.com


Edward Heppenstall "Parts That Hate Me"


Feeling a bit camera shy


A native of California, Edward grew up immersed in a wide range of music; David Bowie, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, The Police/Sting, Pretenders, Roxy Music, and Sade just to name a few, are all well represented in his collection of influences. As a child he played guitar moving to bass guitar in his teenage years. It was in his twenties however that Edward fell in love with song writing.

A few bands and many songs later he brings to the musical table eleven tracks on the solo record “Parts That Hate Me”. From enthusiastically provocative to thoughtfully introspective, Edward combines his many influences into a thinking persons Rock/Pop.