Howling Bells - Heartstring

by AlexJackson
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on 09 June 2014 in Albums & EPs
Record Label Birthday Records
Release date June 2nd
Rating 7/10

Much has been made of the Australian band’s recent recording efforts. Recording on a timeline most bands would be incapable of, at a rapid rate of a track a day in the studio, they have created an album that is feisty, at times ragged, and ultimately satisfying. Lead singer Juanita Stein’s vocals have always been pretty direct and here they are no different. The opening clatter of ‘Paris’, ‘Possessed’ and ‘Your Love’ suggest we won’t be getting any new musical directions here, but do highlight what the band is best at, and that’s straightforward garage rock that bristles with grit and verve. Single ‘Slowburn’ is the most direct and transferable pop hit, while ‘Tornado’ is a rollicking country lament. The swooning ‘Euphoria’ thankfully slows proceedings down, before the incessant ‘Reverie’ kicks in towards the end of what is barely 32 minutes of adrenaline fuelled guitar rock and heavy drumming. The self-imposed deadline may have been pretty testing and perhaps is what makes this record a little all over the place. However, there’s plenty to enjoy here and as garage rock goes this is a complete blast.


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