Partisan Records (label)
15 June 2015 (released)
13 June 2015
It maybe this writers imagination but the opening chords of Wind Up Bird, brought to mind that crashing opener of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Building on the Floyd theme, the rest of the song is kind off reminiscent of Floyd at their psychedelic rawest from the very early days.
There is a late 60’s vibe about the album but The Heartless Bastards paint on a broad canvas, from a full colour pallete: Pocket Full of Thirst is a laid back beauty; gentle percussion and Erika Wennerstorm’s great-plains vocals. Contrast that with the flying between the skyscrapers guitars on Eastern Wind and then with Hi Line a more straightforward American semi-acoustic stroller. The album closes with the off kilter droning, shuffling Tristessa.
This is their fifth album since The Black Keys lobbed their demo to a record company around ten years ago, and it’s a natural, and ambitious, follow up to 2012’s Arrow. It’s a more varied album and that could throw some but there’s a bonhomie throughout the album that keeps it together and they don’t sound as if they are thrashing about all over the place. As such, it flows with nary a jar and frankly not easy to really pick out an absolute highlight. Add in a solid un-flashy production by John Congleton, who’s drawn out some fabulous performances, and you have an album that should move them up a step or two.