Genre: Alt Rock, Punk rock, Dark Pop
Release Date: 7 April 2017
Label: Self Release
Hellbound Hearts are:
Danny Lambert – Lead vocals and guitar
Craig McLaren – Bass and backing vocals
Lee Brook – Drums and backing vocals
01 Suffering The Radio
02 Broken Hearted
03 Poor Disguises
04 The Light We Cannot See
05 Still We Wait
07 Wake Up
08 We Are All Alone
10 Silent Horror Movie
What is it about the water ‘oop north’? For all of those people wishing for a new album by The Wildhearts and wondering if their ever-complicated will they? won’t they? relationship status will ever stabilise long enough to commit to 10 new songs, then fear not, as charging to the rescue come Hellbound Hearts.
As the tin hat is placed upon the head and the flak jacket donned, awaiting the shower of virtriol from Wildhearts fans who balk at the thought of anyone but their beloved putting out a comparable album, it’s worth noting that whilst this ticks a lot of boxes for Wildhearts fans, Hellbound Hearts are their own outfit and their sound is unique enough to set them aside and present a reason to listen and soak up the music.
Hailing from Yorkshire, UK, ‘Film Noir’ is the first full-length studio album from the band. Preceded by the single ‘Suffering the Radio’ which you can hear and watch below, the album presents 10 tracks of dark alternate rock that contains just the right amount of energy, anger, edge and key ingredient ‘freshness’.
The riffs and the hooks pull the listener into the tracks and Lee Brooks drumming patterns help keep things exciting and unexpected. His lead intro on ‘Poor Disguises’ before the dirty, crunchy guitars kick point you in one direction before grabbing you by the scruff of the neck and instead of realigning you, hurl you full speed down a dark alleyway as Danny Lambert brings his own vocal style to the mix.
As a huge fan of heavy grooves and singalong choruses, it’s fair to say that Hellbound Hearts have achieved both in spades. Each track opens with something slightly different, be it an underground bass riff, alien drumming rhythms, buzz-saw guitars and the overall image is one of a real working band that would be at home in a dimly lit club venue surrounded by a mass of punk fans as they would on stage in an arena playing the songs to a bunch of drunk college rock fans. This is an album the crosses genres and fanbases to pull a disparate group together on the strength of one thing, good music.
The album is the end result of a difficult road for the band that saw them ditch the originally intended release, go back to the drawing board and deliver what we now have with ‘Film Noir’. If this is the true calling of the band then good! It’s the right decision and one that should see them pick up new followers along the way, a fair few coming from the well known Geordies’ fanbase I would imagine.
A sense of the spaghetti western creeps into ‘Still We Wait’ before ‘Blood’ opens with a sound straight out of the 60s and the era of classic rock ‘n’ roll. It doesn’t last though and again, the intro takes you in one direction before the main body of the song hurls you through another doorway into an alternate reality. The unexpected changes in direction truly keep you coming back for more. ‘We Are All Alone’ stands out for the piano work at the beginning before the crunch once more kicks in, presenting another fork in the road.
If you’re noticing a theme with direction and misdirection then it’s a good thing. A great sound and a classy debut. There’s something for many tastes, totally impossible to pigeonhole and that is why you need to listen to this.
Be prepared, it’s time to go dark.
REVIEW: ADRIAN HEXTALL
UPCOMING LIVE SHOWS:
8th April – LEEDS, Key Club (album launch show)
16th April – BOLTON, B-Festival (Alma Inn)
3rd June – KEIGHLEY, The Exchange
23rd June – DUNDEE, Firefly
24th June – EDINBURGH, Bannermans
8th July – WESTCLIFFE ON SEA, The Venue
11th August – LEEDS, Yorkshire Rock And Bike Show