Heartless Bastards/All This Time

Released in 2006, this is the band’s second release and the last of my reviews from the band until the newest arrival lands in my lap. Hurry Please!!!

Into The Open—-Almost immediately, you note a change in the sound of the band. The delivery is much more acoustic and melody driven. The one thing that remains the same is the voice and the remarkable drumming. The vocals are more relaxed and even more intense if those two things are possible. The kicks up a few notches as if continues, but the noise from the first release is much more controlled and subdued. It works…and it works REALLY well. Nice!

Searching For The Ghost—-Right out of the gate, the song has an irresistable hook and melody. The vocal is so smooth and full of lyrical emotion you want to squeeze your skull. The double vocals add a nice depth to the band and is setting the groundwork for the masterful follow up to this release. This is beautiful and exquisite…music that makes you think always is.

Finding Solutions—-WOW!!!! The ghostly and slightly Celtic feel to the song is fantastic. The vocal swirls and swirls around your head while the upfront bass and drum keeps you nodding along. As the song develops and becomes magnificently fuzzy, the vocal is clearer and more erratic. This is a tidal wave of emotion and groove. WOW!!!

All This Time—-Again, the song is ushered in by an overwhelming melody. The voice is almost talking at times, but the chorus….a grand effort of noise and layers. Sometimes the vocal almost gets lost in all of the fuzz. As each verse is delivered, we are treated to a clean and wonderful quirky vocal that pleases your soul. This is brilliant!

Brazen—-With a nod to the rockier roots of the band, the song has a certain quality to it that makes it instant glue in your brain. The guitars are noisy, but somehow remarkable melodic. The vocal is double tracked and it works really well on CD. The drums again, are a high point of the song while the guitars are integral and masterful. Really Nice!

I Swallowed A Dragonfly—-Layers upon layers of sound usher in the song. One can even make out strings in the headphones as the song begins in a very dense and intense sound. The vocal is again pushed back in the name of atmosphere. The chorus is a most memorable trip down an unforgettable trail. Melody and emotion prevail and it is wonderful!!!

Blue Day—-With deep guitar sounds that almost make me think of slow-core masters LOW, the music moves a tad bit faster though! Still, the tone of the song is relaxed yet intense. The voice is as classic as it has ever been and by now, for me, it is unmistakable. The lyrical content is morose and dark…the tone of the song slow and plodding.

Valley Of Debris—-Another great Patti Smithinspired vocal. The sound of the song is huge as the guitars seem really, really big.The drum is not as pronounce, but is intricate to the backdrop of mini-noise that prevails. This is wonderfully constructed, the music during the interlude stands very well on its own and the voice does as well. A masterful combination. Why is this band not huge??????????????

No Pointing Arrows—-Much more Siouxsie influenced than anything else on this release, the song is huge and propulsive. The guitars are deep and heavy in layers. The drum plods the song along and the voice is an aching emotional journey. This is the band at it’s best….I can find 0 negatives in this composition. I am truly in love!!

Came A Long Way—-From the onset, the guitars are almost Pearl Jaminspired to me. The voice enters the fray in an up and down delivery that squeezes emotion out of every syllable. The sound of the song is not so much sad as deeply introspective and personal….a great lead in for the release that was to come…you could see the change in the band occurring and it really works for them.

***** out of 5


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