Saturday, April 11, 2015

Heartwood - Single: You Should Really Thank Me / No One Can Do You Wrong - Pure Pop Rock In Panavision

Heartwood is a 4 piece rock outfit out of LA that proudly wears heavy pop and glam pop adornments on their sleeve. They are currently releasing 5 singles and the first two songs show their diverse styles and their unabashed love of pure rock musical tropes too.

You Should Really Thank Me feels almost bi-polar in it's construction. It starts off feeling like an almost garden rock ode in the Neil Young heavy electric vein and shifts dramatically to a pure pristine pop sound in the Todd Rundgren vein. I can tell you that upon first listen the shift felt awkward, daring for sure, but so poppy. I tend to gravitate to a more raw sound and the shift didn't sit well with me. As the song progressed, I must say that all the musical pieces fell into place for me. I also realized that there is a fair amount of theatricality to Heartwood's performance and overall tone. That this pristine produced sound is part of their thing, an ode to classic sounds (at least that is what I sense not having spoken to them). The backing vocals flooding in and erupting into a heavy pop rock ending is pure hard rock candy and they gladly relish in it.

Side B: No One Can Do You Wrong starts off as tweeny as a song in a Muppet Movie and then descends into a glammy rock affair with Brian Mayish guitar flourishes. This song like the first, turns very lush in it's production. It also feels like rock burlesque with grand guignol bloody heart as the lyrics delightfully kill those who get in the way. Now, the murderer may just be a metaphor for one who kills relationships but the violent imagery is playfully there nonetheless.

Heartwood's propensity for the theatrical feels a bit like a throw back but then today every thing goes in the current musical landscape and that is a good thing. There is definitely something enticing and mesmerizing about their approach. I have not seen them live but I know one thing, this kind of music that is overly dramatic and kind of cinematic has to be sold to work live so I truly hope that they are entertaining performers. If they are, they will go a long way.

-
Robb Donker


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