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Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Indie




"Review - Hereticks - Promised Land"

On their new EP, The Hereticks deliver a moody little masterpiece. From the first strums of "I Only Pretend" to its reprise three tracks later, I was completely taken with this release. Warm guitars, swirling organs, and shakers populate the opening minutes, as well as enough references to dying stars, gravity, and evolution to firmly place them in terrain The Flaming Lips explored back when they actually rocked. In fact, the vocals even have that same charming quality as Wayne Coyne, anxiously straining for notes that might just be a hair out of reach. And I mean that in the most affectionate way possible.

Where the two bookend songs mine their spacy side, The Hereticks kick out the jams in the middle. In particular, "Promised Land" packs a wallop. It boasts a chorus worthy of The Strokes and a verse so smooth, it wouldn’t surprise me if these guys listened to Hall and Oates on the sly. In "Girl", the question is posed: “I’ve been paroled, now where the fuck’s my trial?” which is followed by a rip-roaringly fun guitar solo, the likes of which I don’t hear much anymore.

With only four songs, the EP feels brief. I think that has to do with how effortlessly it all comes together, the way the tracks bleed from one into the next. It feels assured and effortless, which means it had to be hard as hell to accomplish. I can’t wait to see these guys live. But most of all, I can’t wait until they do a full length. --Written by Josh Denslow - The Deli

"KUTX Song of the Day: Promised Land"

A heretic is someone that goes their own way, against accepted doctrine or dogma. Hereticks is a tight five-piece from Austin that knows a thing or two about pop music, but isn’t afraid to do their own thang.

The band got its start back in 2011. Three of the four founding members (guitarist Ofer Shouval, bassist Wesley Maffly-Kipp, guitarist William Johnson, and drummer Peter Farago) were living at the Pearl Street Co-op over in West Campus. Keyboardist Waldo Wittenmyer (leader of the very cool Austin band Waldo & The Naturals). They released their debut full-length Engine in July 2013, and a phenomenal self-titled EP back in October.

The EP opens with the gentle “I Only Pretend,” a tune with shades of Yoshimi-era Flaming Lips or early-naughts Shins. But the four-song EP’s tentpole has gotta be “Promised Land.” It’s a track that lives in the sweet spot. The tempo is quick but not fast, just right for head-bobbing. The arrangements are grand but devoid of schmaltz. The playing is virtuosic without being flashy. This band plays very, very well together. When they latch onto the chorus, the way they go with the melody is unexpected but with an ELO-ish flair for zigging when the listener thinks they’re going to zag. Hereticks is a band to keep your eye on. - KUTX Music 98.9

"Hereticks - "Promised Land""

I met her at Bowery Electric, while the Hereticks were playing. Young, blonde, good looking — whatever that means to you. She was bobbing at the other end of the crowd, dancing near Wes Maffley-Kipp, who was dividing his attention between her and the bass. Hers was a look of gravity. After the second encore, it pulled me in.

I forget what I said first. There was a burst blood vessel in her eye — a flood of red made brilliant violet by the aquarium neon of the bar. Her name was Vanessa. She was unimpressed with me.

The rest of the night shook out pretty well, all things considered. She wanted coke. I had some. We repaired to the toilet and alternated bumps, doing a line off a copy of This Engine, the Hereticks’ first album, released February 2013. It’s a good record, but neither of us were thinking about that. I had her phone number in my pocket when I left town the next day.

After that — who can say? We met up, went out a few times, developed some comfortable and unexciting routines. Her taste in records was an issue — she hated punk, indulged in the occasional top 40 station, made fun of me for listening the The Selecter as if there was no difference between the second and third waves of ska… Sex has never been my strong suit but we got by. Her parents liked me, after a while.

Then things went bad — they had to, right? No thrown dishes or anything — no fights, really. Just coldness. Little jokes, reliable compliments — they all started ending up dead. Somehow, without either of us knowing the mechanism at work, the little procedural kindnesses upon which any relationship is based went cold, stopped carrying charge. She still calls, sometimes. We catch up in a perfunctory way. Still — it was a worthwhile thing, like all deep scars.

Meet the Hereticks. They’re from Austin and they put out an album last spring, an EP just now. Check out “Promised Land,” which creeps up on a Morse code strand before exploding into a kind of sardonic desolation powered by Wes Maffley-Kipp’s bass and ethereal keyboard hits from Waldo Wittenmyer. It’s a melancholy song, with a touch of self reproach. See also “I Only Pretend,” parts one and two, which strikes at similar territory in a more bouncy, pop-folk kind of way.

This is a weird band. Live, that night I saw them at the Bowery, they came on like a stick of reverse dynamite, blasting people into the bar instead of out of it. These guys ooze charisma; it’s a bodily secretion for them, draining out of the cuffs of their shirts and the pipes of their jeans, pooling bright purple on the stage. And it’s easy, faced with that kind of showmanship, to get distracted. Putting on their EP, as I did the week after the show, was a little bit of a shock. This is a band with a serious drive and an intellect fully equipped with eyes, hair and teeth. “Promised Land” hits a spot of weird, spectral guilt: it’s a song about the realizing you’re not the kind of person anyone would write a song about. “I Only Pretend” is a little balder in this declaration, but slightly less interesting musically (with the exception of a few whip-crack guitar hits right before the final line). Their full-length, This Engine, is rougher but treads similarly complex emotional waters. Tracks to consider: “Dancing in the Snow” and “Once Upon the End.”

This is an act I’m still digesting in a lot of ways. They seem to exist in a muddled, limited space between pop music as popular poetry and pop music as adolescent celebration. They have it in them, I’m sure, to put out much, much less cerebral stuff. Maybe they will in the future — but for now, I’m glad they haven’t. This is what you should put on if you have some things to figure out, some failures whose genealogy seems inexplicable. This music for life’s blind spot.

Hereticks at Bowery Electric was one of the best shows I have ever seen. Full crowd, private booth, gallons of gin — the out-of-body experience of a real cocaine tear, driving all our souls until they plonked against the low, black roof of the bar… Everyone was into it, I thought: moving together, operating as cells of some vast entity, all difference collapsed. I was at my best, that night, I thought. Listening to the EP, later, I realized that — if true — my assessment was depressing. Maybe the best we have is just the hubris of looking someone the eyes and believing, really believing, that the brain behind is open and capable of love. “It’s been over since we left the trees,” sing the Hereticks, at the close of “I Only Pretend.”

For them, maybe. It ended for me when the last encore finished at Electric. I’d been watching her across the crowd the whole time, feeling strange, compelled, intoxicated. All it would take, I thought, was a few moments of total presence.

I was doing key bumps in the men’s room when she slipped away. - Obscure Sound

"Hereticks - Hereticks EP"

At four songs, this EP from Hereticks is short but sweet. The band has done its pop music homework but is not afraid to venture out on its own. Imagine a harder-nosed Shins; a subtler, more sonically adventurous Weezer; and a more classic pop-flavored My Morning Jacket, and you're in the ballpark. - Austin Monthly

"Austinot Music Podcast: The Hereticks"

This week I am featuring a high-energy Austin band named the Hereticks on the Austinot Music Podcast. Straight out of West Campus, the Hereticks started making music in Spring of 2011. Three of the four members met while living in Pearl Street Co-op, which is somewhat of a haven for musicians and artists west of UT.

The Hereticks are: Ofer Shouval (guitar, vocals), Wesley Maffly-Kipp (bass, vocals), Will Johnson (guitar, vocals), and Peter Farago (Drums).

It’s hard to classify the music these guys create. Officially the band claims to be indie, but that label isn’t enough to capture the band’s wide range. Their music exhibits a lot of dance-rock overtones, yet other songs hit hard with a heavy punk rock feel. Every song is meticulously designed to get you out of your seat and moving. The Hereticks is certainly not a sit-down kind of band.

The Hereticks tend to write melodic, high-energy rock music, with a lot of focus on song construction. They have made a reputation for themselves through their complex music and live shows. It’s as if the members have vowed to keep their audience grooving all night, refusing them a chance to breathe. Be sure to stop by one of their many shows in the Austin area. You can catch them playing at places like Beale Street Tavern and Hole in the Wall. Check their Facebook page HERE for their upcoming dates. - The Austinot


Still working on that hot first release.



Hereticks bring a totally new flavor to Austin's indie scene, merging classic indie riffs a la Built to Spill and Pavement with more modern influences such as the Shins and Modest Mouse, tinged with a slightly psychedelic, soulful and progressive sound.  Over the past two years, they have developed their sound into a rich amalgam that has garnered praise from both local and national media.  They have been featured on KUTX and KVRX radio in Austin, The Deli magazine, Austin Monthly, as well as respected music blogs such as Obscure Sound and OVRLD. 

Singer and songwriter Ofer Shouval and drummer Peter Farago met in 2010 amid the creative breeding grounds of Pearl St. co-op, and began jamming some proto-tunes. Within a year, they had added bassist Wes
Maffly-Kipp and guitarist Willy Johnson to the mix, and had become one of the college crowd's most talked about acts. Playing at the Hole in the Wall, 29th St Ballroom, and Holy Mountain, Hereticks began to catch the ears or music goers
around town. During the recording of their first LP, This Engine engineer/singer/keyboardist Waldo Wittenmyer joined the band on keys. By 2012 Hereticks had developed a rich and full sound, now with a 5-piece get up. Wittenmyer also brings his soulful tenor to compliment Shouval's strident vocal, in some cases both singers share lead, creating a very unique and interesting sound. Each member of the band brings their own musical voice to the compositions, with Johnson's twinkling overtones soaring over the energetic and melodic bass lines of Maffley-Kipp, and Peter Farago creating interesting and pulsing rhythms as the foundation. The songwriting reflects deep involvement from all members of the band. Shoval takes lead on most of the songs, his distinctive melodies and alt-noir lyrics reflect the troubles and anxieties of youth in the modern age, yet are ultimately cathartic. Wittenmyer contributes some more driving rockers and Johnson also brings a wistful, bluesy writing style to the band. Wes contributes  lyrics and chord structures to pair nicely with Shouval's instrumentation for some more delicate numbers. All of this combines in a very powerful, catchy, and welcoming sound that is extremely distinctive.

Band Members