HEAVY TIMES: “No Plans” b/w “Ice Age”: 7"

Mar 03, 2011

Be it Todd Taylor or Daryl Gussin, someone over at Razorcake has been looking out for me. Contrary to what some of my former lackluster editors thought at different rags, I really don’t like trashing records. It’s just that most of them are subpar. The quality of the 45s being sent my way in the past few months is something I’m not accustomed to. Last month it was Talbot Adams’ 7” on Douchemaster. This go around, it’s Heavy Times’ “No Plans/Ice Age” 7”. I’d never heard of Heavy Times before receiving this single. Nevertheless, the label on the record read Hozac (Jacuzzi Boys, Box Elders, Christmas Island, etc.), so expectations were high. The A side is absolutely amazing. Musically, it’s reminiscent of the minimalism found in Dan Treacy’s work with the Television Personalities. Incredibly driving and super simple—just change chords when necessary to break the monotony. If anything, Heavy Times adds further credence to Alex Chilton’s solo work just after Big Star. A number of journalists (Stephen Thomas Erlewine and David Cleary) panned Chilton’s Like Flies on Sherbet. I thought it was a brilliant record. The music was so shambolic; it felt like a natural conclusion to the tailspin Chilton had gone through in the late ‘70s. It was also the first time Chilton’s music matched the teenage subject matter of his lyrics in Big Star; the record sounds like a bunch of middle school session musicians played on it. That’s what Heavy Times does on “No Plans.” The verse just repeats: “We can’t go over there/While I don’t care/Because all we have is time.” Which is a really sweet and endearing lyric, because when you’re twelve, you can’t go over to some places due to age restrictions or a very real or imagined fear that you’d get your ass kicked. Additionally, this track reminds me of Chilton’s early solo work because kids used to have free time. It wasn’t totally commodified by Playstation and Facebook back in the late ‘70s. You had to actually find something to do. And when you’re young, truly all you have is time and hopefully a BMX bike and maybe a few quarters for soda. On all levels, “No Plans” meshes perfectly. The B side (“Ice Age”) is fucking great too. Very Ramones—driving, and I’m sure great live…I think there’s a one-note guitar solo in there! But there’s a reason “No Plans” is on the A side. Is this 7” worth picking up? Fuck, man, that’s a no-brainer: this 7” is an absolute burner.

 –ryan (Hozac)