Forget about Balearic beats and yacht rock; "Neptune's Last Stand" takes aquatic-themed music all the way to slow-motion sea shanty territory in lilting waltz tempo. It makes sense that Severson has played with the likes of Map of Africa; this is a proper psychedelic-rock jam, brimming with multiple guitar lines, Godley and Creme-styled vocal harmonies, glockenspiel counterpoints and ambient, rustling bells. It culminates in a cryptic spoken passage about drowned sailors, intoned in a dull baritone reminiscent of Leonard Cohen.
Something like this could go wrong in so many different ways, but the Heroes' success lies partly in their attention to detail, like the gorgeously interwoven guitar lines—classical guitars against fuzzed-out wah-wah against liquid twang—or the low, sweeping phrases that might be cello or clarinet. The absurdity of it all is offset by the utter conviction with which it's been put together—not just deadpan, but stonefaced—as well as serious talent on the mixing board.
"Winter Island Romance" is a psychedelic rock-disco jam that's not shy about its affection for The Doors, with rolling conga rhythms, cymbal swells, and epic, overdriven guitar lead. At 120 BPM, it's the more "playable" of the two tracks, at least in a club context, but its meandering sense of direction makes it feel more downtempo than it really is. As stoner epics go, it's really something—but that playability also comes with one extreme caveat: do yourself a favor and listen to it all the way through before you play this out (or, more importantly, put it on a make-out mixtape).
Vocalist Loren Thomas' booming, bedroom-eyed delivery makes you think of Barry White, but the free-associative spiel fixates on cocaine and anatomy to an extent that might make even R. Kelly blush. I don't want to give it away, because the eureka moment is just too good. Even after hearing the song all the way through a few times, you still find yourself thinking, "Did he really just sing that?" If you can avoid getting its chorus stuck in your head, well, you're a cleaner-minded person than I.