sound check

January 20th, 2011 |
By Michael Swanger

The Lonelyhearts and Caleb Engstrom

“Winter Club Split”

Mission Freak Records

Eastern Iowa’s Mission Freak Records has found a clever, conceptual way to merge two EPs from two similar artists onto one record with the release of the aptly-titled “Winter Club Split.” The first four songs feature The Lonelyhearts, the duo of Andre Perry and John Lindenbaum of Iowa City and Fort Collins, Colo., respectively. Their languid, dramatic instrumentation is the star as the echo-laden vocals merely serve the sonic template of alt-rock songs like “Post-Soviet” and “Pass Like Night” that sound like the improbable merger of Arcade Fire and Velvet Underground. Similarly, Caleb Engstrom’s four songs (“04.19.09,” “04.02.09,” etc.), which clock in at a total of less than eight minutes, are also mostly instrumental voyages where the vocals go along for the ride, serving the sweeping, creative arrangements that feature a mix of plaintive music influenced by Western and Eastern music forms. CV


The Breezeway


The Henceroth Music Group

Formed in Ohio and seasoned in Nashville, alt-rockers The Breezeway now call Ames home and have released a new album, “Hype,” that will make waves in central Iowa and beyond. Its members include brothers Roy (vocals, guitar, bass, keys) and Jesse (drums, vocals, harmonica) Henceroth, who have years of touring and recording under their belts, having formed The Breezeway in 1996 and played gigs as diverse as SXSW, to performing for television talk show host Jerry Springer’s Senate campaign party. Just as eclectic are their musical influences, which can be heard on “Hype” ranging from CCR, to Nirvana, to Sponge. But it’s the sounds of R.E.M. that seemingly resonate the closest to The Breezeway’s slightly roots-based, alt-rock album featuring 13 original songs like “Hurry Up and Wait” and “What’s the Point?” that seemingly live up to the album’s title. CV

(For more information about The Breezeway, visit