Saturday, August 20, 2011
The Beaten Hearts rock!
Hailing from the beautiful Maritime province of New Brunswick, the Beaten Hearts are the latest in a long line of excellent punk bands from north of the border. Featuring the talents of lead singer Brian LaManna (ex Valentine Killers), Ray Auffrey (ex Bad Luck #13), Fear of Lipstick’s Derek Lounder and Jeremy O’Neill, and red-hot lead guitarist Tyler Boutilier, this Moncton five-piece is not exactly a gang of newcomers. And it shows in their music. Remember good old “punk rock n' roll”? It was kind of a happening thing circa the early to mid ‘90s when the likes of the New Bomb Turks, Humpers, and Devil Dogs reigned supreme. The Beaten Hearts take me back to those days. And, damn, they do this style well! Blending elements of early rock n’ roll with the flamethrower ferocity of its ‘70s punk antecedents (Dead Boys, Saints, Teenage Head), the Beaten Hearts make no attempt to be current or cool or progressive. They just put the pedal to the medal and rock. And while the cliché about bands of this particular style is that they’re “a lot of fun live”, what I appreciate about the Beaten Hearts is that they know how to make good records as well. Like any band with a ‘50s influence, they really understand the importance of a simple and well-written song. Debut single “Red Line Gurls” is one of the catchiest tunes of this (or any!) year. It’s full of tasty guitar hooks, handclaps, and ooh-and-ah backing vocals. Hear it once, and it'll be stuck in your head all day. “Rhonda Lynn” is another revved-up toe-tapping rocker, while second single “Badlands” shows a harder, nastier edge a la the Pagans/Rocket from the Tombs. And for something completely different, “Red Line Gurls” B-side “(This Is) How It Ends” slows the tempo for a melancholic but ballsy pop vibe. It’s pretty “rock”, but in a really good way. Cool tune!
Without a doubt, this is one of the best of the new bands to come on the scene since I stopped doing Now Wave. So you can see a big reason why I’m writing again - because it’s exciting to know that there’s great rock n’ roll out there. And if you have the good taste to like great rock n’ roll, check the Beaten Hearts out! The “Red Line Gurls” 7” is out Sonic Jett, and “Badlands” is out on the band’s own Maladroit Records. So hey, go buy some vinyl!