Cruelty of the Heavens, “Growing Up,” from Grow Up and See (Encapsulated, 2016)

Look, if no one else is gonna talk about how fucking amazing Cruelty of the Heavens is, then I'm gonna keep screaming about it and just hope that small handfuls of listeners gradually catch on to their ridiculously catchy blend of heavy '90s alt.-rock, shoegaze, grungy emo, etc. that carves its own path and manages to avoid easy comparisons to any other artists. I'm sick of seeing the same boring bullshit making the rounds out there while this album has been absolutely destroying me for six months now with little (if any) other coverage to be found.

The CD hasn't left my stereo since March. I'm just continually blown away by how perfect a record Grow Up and See is. Over time, even the two songs that didn't quite do it for me in the beginning have grown on me, so I now find myself playing air instruments and singing along to every damn track! "Growing Up" is but one fine example of the impeccably hard-hitting hooks. I mean, come on, the way the vocals shift on the phrase "fucking wrong" during the last line of the chorus? Perfection.

Listen, I'm too young to feel this old.
It's not a perfect world, believe me now, I know.
Listen to me, for once don't interrupt.
There's nothing fucking wrong, I'm just growing up...

And I could've selected nearly any song. I already called out my two personal favorites, "Entoptic Phenomenon" and "The Magician," when I interviewed the band last year; but there's also "1995," "Mind's Eye," "Transylvania," "The Haunted," and more. It's just that good.

It is very, very, very, very god damn rare that new music hits me hard enough to make me completely flip out and lose my shit like this, so I just know deep down that there's something truly special about this band, and it drives me to the point of legitimate physical rage that they don't seem to be getting much attention. Grow Up and See was without a doubt my favorite release of 2016, and it's probably safe to say it's one of the best I've heard in the past decade, too. Hell, it may become one of my all-time favorites, now that I think about it.

Grow Up and See is available on CD or through Bandcamp. I sincerely hope you enjoy it.