Friday, July 26, 2019

Stubborn Hearts - Trixie

After pilfering so many review ideas from Mick Fletcher, I would say I'm due for another Greg Mongroll pick. Although technically I'm stealing this one from Mick as well. What can I say? I stand on the shoulders of giants! I'm especially stoked on Greg Mongroll's recommendations when they're New England based. Stubborn Hearts are representing for Rhode Island, and I love that the band name says so much about who they are. Stubborn Hearts are Jenn Lombari (vocals/guitars/songwriting) and Doug Metivier (drums). The duo's new EP is called Trixie, and it delivers five songs of powerful & heartfelt melodic punk rock. Musically it recalls '80s/'90s emo-core and melodic hardcore, but the words and voice of Jenn Lombari are what really connect for me on a personal level. When bands go to the trouble to publish their lyrics, ideally it's because they have something meaningful to say that speaks to the human experience. And that's definitely the case here. These five songs are linked by one common thread: the agony of lost love and longing, and the toll that it all takes on our emotional state. Lombari addresses these themes in an open and wonderfully engaging way. This is intense stuff, and it's carried off with tremendous honesty and humor (the line "I've got mediums and therapists on speed dial" is both hilarious and devastating). Lead track "Our Hearts Are Turned To 10 Tonight" is honestly one of the most beautifully-written and spot-on love songs I've ever come across. I'm always awed when a two-minute song can say more about the fragility of romantic relationships than I ever could with thousands of words of prose. Those last five lines in particular give me goosebumps.

Stubborn Hearts are a band that remind me of why I came to love melodic punk music in the first place. Stripped down to just guitar, drums, and voice, their music exhibits a rawness I find incredibly refreshing in 2019. Trixie is full of relatable songs that emanate straight from the heart. At a time when "emo" has practically become a dirty word, this band demonstrates what emotional punk rock once was and still can be. Greg Mongroll will never steer you wrong!


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