The Next Sounds: Heartless Bastards
By: Sierra Drucker
Heartless Bastards epitomize good old rock and roll for the new age. This foursome hails from Ohio, home to fellow rock brethren The Black Keys who actually passed the Bastards’ demo along to Fat Possum who quickly recognized the talent and signed them in 2004. Four albums later, and with a slightly new lineup, they are about to release their debut full length for Partisan Records, undoubtedly their best work yet.
Although they take inspiration from old school rock staples like The Breeders, Guided By Voices, Otis Redding and Led Zeppelin, they deliver 10 leathery blues rockin tracks with a consciously modern twist. A newly refined production courtesy of Jim Eno from Spoon breathes life into their music, taking them from garage rock to, well, garage rock if you went to the container store and organized all of the tools.
Arrow finds the band using subtler instrumentation to accentuate the firey and weathered vocals of their fearless front-woman, Erika Wennerstrom. Her sound is timeless, reminiscent of Janis Joplin or Victoria Legrand, not only because she possesses that extraordinary tone, but also because of her unflinching delivery that can only come from writing the songs herself.
Click the image below to indulge your ears with another gorgeous new song, “Only For You,” courtesy of KCRW’s Liza Richardson, and prepare to melt under Wennerstrom’s mercilessly swooning vocals.
Lucky for us, Heartless Bastards are preparing for a nationwide tour, with a stop at Los Angeles’ Echoplex on April 3rd. Until then, be sure to pre-order your copy and anxiously await the release date (February 14th) when you can strap on your best sunglasses, roll the window down, and blast the Heartless Bastards while the wind whips your hair – like a badass.