The Heartbreaks: Fun Times
Unsigned British band The Heartbreaks have just released their debut album through Nusic Sounds LLP and it’s a real breath of fresh air. Channelling the best of all the great indie bands from the eighties right through to the nineties their infectious blend of catchy hooks and riffs are a brilliant burst of playful, versatile energy which have already gained them a cult following at home, and with a major tour and a gig at one of the best festivals in Japan on the cards it looks like hopefully 2012 might just be their breakthrough year.
Who are they and What do they sound like?
Their frontman is Matthew Whitehouse, Ryan Wallace plays lead guitar, Joseph Kondras is on bass and Chris Deaks plays drums. Based in the north west of the UK they take great influence from some of the best known and loved bands from that area. Already being touted as the “next big thing” and favourable comparisons drawn to bands like the Arctic Monkeys, they’ve got a lot to live up to.
They’ve already earned plaudits from Morrissey who really rates them, as does Johnny Marr. The former invited them on tour with him while the latter was really taken with the band’s first song from their album “Liar, My Dear” and it’s easy to see why he would rate it so highly, here’s a sneaky listen to it:
The Heartbreaks – Liar, My Dear
Extremely catchy Elvis Costello-esque singing (replete with the customary Costello yelping…) and a true feeling of genuine joy at what they’re doing makes the first song off the album an instant winner, it really draws you in and makes you want to hear more from them. It’s positive, upbeat, infectious indie pop with a raw edge. As well as the inevitable Costello comparisons, the guitar work of Ryan Wallace does have an inherently Smiths-y feel to it. The chord patterns and changes have that early eighties feel to them, as though they’ve been stuck in a vault since 1985 waiting to come out and pounce.
The Heartbreaks – Hand On Heart
“Hand On Heart” has a real anthemic sound, something soaring in the guitar part which makes it feel like it could be an indie cool-kid anthem, it has such an assured feel and shades of bands like The Milltown Brothers or maybe even early Stone Roses to it. It’s musically adept, has a great catchy chorus and a (maybe with a little lyrical work) could really catch on and be the sound of Summer. Probably the one thing (if there’s one criticism) to be levelled at them is that sometimes, they’re too keen on throwing swearing into their lyrics. In most cases it works, it adds an extra punch to the song, however on occasion it has the effect of sounding a bit out of place and unneeded, maybe used at the expense of other, better words or phrases.
The Heartbreaks – Remorseful
“Remorseful” is one of the album’s slightly slower songs, and presents a great change of pace half way through the album. It’s amazing how many different styles the band seem to be able to adapt to without ever sounding like they’re copying or imitating. This song has a real feel of early Orange Juice to it, with a driving guitar part which is really soaring and matches Whitehouse’s strong, mature vocal. Definitely the sort of thing you could imagine Edwyn Collin’s having in his original repertoire.
There’s something to be said for their energy and the obvious passion that’s gone into the songs. The Heartbreakers don’t seem to be a band that release an album with one or two good performances on and the rest fillers or B-Side material, there’s something in every single song that they do that is catchy, that hooks you in, that you could see working as a main single, and therein lies their strength. The fact that everything you hear has the potential to be a hit makes you think they could easily go places if they really pushed themselves through or got signed to a major label (and major labels take note, they’re really truly worth a shot…)
Where can I get the album from? Are they on tour anywhere?
You can have a free listen to it at Spotify; you can buy it from iTunes or download it from the band’s Facebook page.
They’ve got some pretty major gigs coming up in the UK over the next few months with dates in most of the major cities. However, they’re also booked to play one of the biggest music festivals in Japan The Fuji Festival, which takes place on the 27th July. If something big doesn’t happen for them after this, then there’s no justice. Upbeat, joyful, easy to listen to but bringing a new slant to old indie. That’s The Heartbreakers. Give them a try!
L-Nizz is a freelance writer from England who writes from her flat in London, chilled out in her lounge on her sectional couch. She spends her days listening to records from all around the world.