Heartless Bastards/Stairs And Elevators


Since ‘discovering’ and reviewing the newest release from Cincinnati Garage-Rock band Heartless Bastards and their exceptional release The Mountain[reviewed 8/23/2009], I have become somewhat obsessed with this exceptional band. The following two review entries are of the first and second release[s] from the band.

Gray—-The song begins right out of the gate with a fuzzy driving guitar that fits the band in a masterful manner. The pace of the song is slightly hyper and the drums are exquisite. The vocal….oh the vocal. Driving, emotional and full of every expression Theasarus could come up with. The sound is much more raw and spontaneous giving th band a great ‘undeground’ sound. This is fantastic!

Onions—-Sounding like the ‘original’ Karen O [before the whole glam makeover], the voice is fantastic. The sound of the music is rough and unpolished, but still sounds practised and masterful. The lyrical content is pure raw emotion, that you and I can both relate to, no matter who we are. The song moves at an almost blistering pace and is propelled by some fantastic drumming. This is masterful. I really love this band.

New Resolution—-Again, the voice is reminiscent of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s with a touch of Bowiethrown in. The lyrical content is yet another topic that we all feel and relate to. The drums take the forefront of much of the song, while the guitar enters loud and quiets and re-enters with a burst. Fantastic!

My Maker—-A vocal delivery and garage style musical landscape that makes me want to listen to Patti Smith, the song is a nice burst of energy and fuzzy sound. The voice does not accelerate to great heights, but the emotion is all over the place. This is classic and under-rated and under-heard by the masses.

Runnin’—-Full of fuzz and slight feedback, the voice is more than wonderful. The song has a deep sound that is accomplished by the feedback of the bass. The song gradually comes from the deepness into a damn pleasant almost Alt-Country styled Banshees song. I can’t find the words to describe my infatuation and admiration for this band. This song, although somewhat quiet in nature has a huge sound. Wonderful……fantastic!

Autonomy—-The song has an almost punk groove to it that again makes me think of some of the best Patti Smith songs. The music is loud and abrasive and melds with the voice in a masterful way. You could not expect much more from one song…it has all you need.

Pass And Fail—-From the onset, this song has much more groove and melody on the musical front. The guitars and rhythm section work together incredibly well and for a debut release this sounds like years in the practice. The voice is full of ire and sometimes disgust…it plays on CD very well. The song is packed with power and barely gives you time to catch your breath. Wonderful!!!

The Will Song—-Bombastic at the onset, the drum shatters your tranquility. The guitar enters the fray with a feedback filled delivery that ushers in a vocal that seems pushed to the back of the mix. The whole song remains propelled by the drums and rhythm section. The voice is strong but seems muted somewhat. This is exquisite noise pop that I just adore.  This is by far the most ‘catchy’ song on this release and ironically it is mostly based on the musical delivery rather than the voice.

Swamp Song—-Very much influenced by classic Siouxsie, the song sounds as if it came about in the early 80’s underground goth movement. The music is much more hyper, but the song carries a certain feel to it that reminds me of that time period. This is wonderfully descriptive lyrically and is bolstered by a strong at times bluesy musical landscape.

Done Got Old—-Beginning stripped bare and with swagger, the music enters with a dirty blues sound that wraps itself around the vocal. The downshift in the music and the powerful drum track is almost too much to endure….I want to scream to the world the virtues of this band. The versatility displayed on this one release is emarkable….I can’t wait for more!!!

Piano Song—-Exactly as the song title would suggest, this is a strong and beautiful piano based song. The vocal is beyond comparison, it belongs to the band and the band alone. The voice is strong and emotive as feelings are layed bare and the landscape unscathed by anything except the beautiful piano. This is wonderful and full of promise. Tremendous!

Lazy—-Full of constant shifting musical sounds, the drums again take a spotlight. The bass guitar is highlighted and the voice is restrained and keeps to the bass in a masterful way. a wonderful end to a classic release that needs to be heard by everyone.

**** out of 5

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