Original Writeup

HEAVY HINGES – “Cellophane Rose”

by David Haynes

As long as bands like Heavy Hinges are around, rock and roll is in good hands.

Some of the best music bridges the great divide between the past and the present. The comfort and familiarity of the past sounds bland without a little modern sonic spice. With one foot on either side of the canyon, Heavy Hinges have created an album that spans decades of music history while still retaining a modern feel. Cellophane Rose is a freewheeling, raucous homage to rock and roll’s enduring legacy.

From Cincinnati, OH, Heavy Hinges worked on the songs that would become Cellophane Rose during the pandemic. Consisting of guitarists Kirk Hunter and Dylan Speeg, bassist Andrew Laudeman, drummer Brian Williamson, and vocalist/ukuleleist Mayalou Banatwala, the band manages to create a sound that is the sum of each musician’s background and influences. After rehearsing for a year, they went into Fuzzy Eyed Studio to work with producer Todd Uttley. Cellophane Rose is the result of hard work and honed musical instincts.

Opener “Can’t Break Me Down” is a flurry of guitar octaves and urgent drumming. Like a combination of Alabama Shakes and Tom Petty, this song’s wide open sound divulges into tight riffs.The driving rock of “Pull Your Own Weight” gives way to the mellow sound of “Unstoppable,” as hazy guitar chords swirl around Banatwala’s earnest vocals. “In Too Deep” sees the band experimenting and building upon a blues foundation, tracing their love of rock and roll back to its American roots. “Dream About You” channels the shiny sound of 90s brit-pop and shows us that there’s no sonic stone this band will leave unturned. The final track “Kazoo For Two” features the classic schoolyard instrument, and here it’s combined with fuzzy guitar leads to create a truly unique sound.

As long as bands like Heavy Hinges are around, rock and roll is in good hands. Cellophane Rose is a 21st century record with its mind in the cloud but its feet on the ground. Stream the record below, and stick around for an exclusive interview with the band!


What inspired the image of the cellophane rose? How did you decide on that as the album title?

When I was a teenager, I gave my girlfriend a rose wrapped in cellophane I got from a gas station for Valentine’s Day. When she took off the plastic the petals all fell off. We didn’t last much longer. I wrote the title track from what I thought her point of view might have been. It’s about not being taken in by cheap sentiment even if the intentions were good.

What was it like working at Fuzzy Eyed Studio? Did you find the songs changed with producer Todd Uttley’s influence, or did you go in with a pretty defined blueprint for the record?

We loved working at Fuzzy Eyed Studio. It feels really snug in that basement space. It squeezes the creativity out of you. Todd Uttley really knows how to get a great drum mix. He definitely didn’t push us to polish it up too much. We had really worked and rehearsed these songs out ahead of time so we had a pretty clear vision for what we were going to do.

Your sound is inspired by so many different iterations of rock and roll. Does everyone in the band bring diverse influences to rehearsal and writing?

Usually 1 person comes in with a basic outline and then we all add in our own parts. I don’t think any of us share the same favorite band. Every person in the band gets enough room to get in where they fit in. I think these 9 songs are about as focused as we are ever going to get. Each song ends up very different than the person who wrote it probably imagined it but it’s also more interesting.

What do you hope listeners take away from these songs?

That we are proud of who we are and embrace the journey that brought us here. We try to dip our bucket deep into the well for our musical influences while pushing into the future. We want them to know that if they are feeling down, they are not alone.

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