Monday, 28 June 2010
~This Elegant Chaos~#5 Hearts!Attack
'If You Were Dead' three track EP by Hearts!Attack
This is pretty much a home made affair, housed in a personally designed sleeve created with acrylic paints and boasting the legend; "This record was made from two bedrooms, in two continents, by three people", already what's not to love? The three people are Darren, Alexis and Sam, with help from Tabby from Tabbyondrums....erm, on drums!
Hearts!Attack are purveyors of a raw blend of raucous bedroom lo-fi, and title track 'If You Were Dead' sets out their agenda beautifully....think of The Raincoats, or early unpolished Sonic Youth and you're starting to get somewhere. Now imagine Bis clashing with cacophonous early grunge-punks Distorted Pony and mashing up their joint boy/girl call-and-response vocals and the picture starts becoming clearer. I often get anxious when I praise a band for their un-embellished lo-fi production, often worrying that I may be insulting them somewhat, but given that I consider 'Green Fuz' by Randy Alvey & The Green Fuz, a record that sounds like it was recorded in a bucket of sludge with a broken mic, as one of the greatest records of all time, and that I can think of nothing worse than listening to polished over-produced music like Rush, Yes or Supertramp, then I'm hoping any references to lo-fi distortion aren't seen as a negative. It's the raw, abrasiveness of Hearts!Attack's music that draws me in, but beneath the rough edges lies the true beauty....listen to that melodious keyboard pattern, or the way the girl vocals sweeten the anger of the boy vocals, and the moment at around 2mins 40 when the song slows down and an air of poignancy drapes itself over the track. It's quite wonderful.
"I heard it on the TV// You've been cheating on me" is the opening line of second track 'Mariana' where there are so many different vocal structures that it can't fail to burrow into your brain to seduce and slap you at the same time, which, like the band's name, seems to sum up their double-edged nature....the 'heart' alluding to the sweetness of love; the 'attack' to the gutpunch when it all breaks down.
And final track 'Dead Snails' captures this beautifully....like honey wrapped in nettles.
A while back I had felt I had become a little jaded with music and felt that nothing was doing it for me any more, but listening to Hearts!Attack reminds why I fell in love with music in the first place. In a world where Oasis are seen as (cough!) relevant, where Nickelback sell out stadiums , and where (groan!)The Killers and (ggrrooaann!!)Kings Of Leon are seen as the future of rock, I know what I like and I DO know about art!!
Already a contender for my favourite release of the year; if you like The Slits, Swell Maps, The Subway Sect or The Shaggs then this comes highly recommended. I personally cannot wait for further releases.
The band have a Myspace page which can be found here
as well as a page at Bandcamp which is here.