Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mr. G's Song of the Week "Hold Your Head High"

In a rare Song of the Week moment, I have a band from whom I know I would like to select a song, I have the album from which said song will be picked, but I'm having a great deal of difficulty honing in on one particular track that I think stands above the others. Such is the dilemma one faces when confronted with a consistently good album from start to finish. And such is the description I will bestow upon "The Mountain," the third album from Cincinnati garage rock band, Heartless Bastards.

Aside from their awesome band name, this trio of talented musicians deliver a sound that is gritty in its reverb-soaked, blues rock moments, with an impressive ability to shift gears and slow things down. In fact, I think the selection for song of the week should be one that showcases both of these aspects of the band's musical personality. I've been listening intently to the album while writing this post and song number 5 strikes me as the best overall representation of the band's vibe. So it's decided; the song of the week is "Hold Your Head High," not to be confused with the 1972 classic rock beauty "Hold Your Head Up" by the English band, Argent.

As musically tight as Heartless Bastards are, the band is truly carried by the unique vocal stylings of front-woman, Erika Wennerstrom. In my estimation, she is like the female version of Nathan Willett, lead singer of California indie rockers, Cold War Kids. For those not familiar with the CWK, let me at least attempt a vocal description. Erika sings in a deep-ish warble that has a certain "je ne sais quoi," commanding attention and entrancing the listener. Vague description, I know. But it's a presence that takes the music to the next level, to the top of "The Mountain," if you will. And with "The Mountain" in mind, I humbly suggest that if you dig this installment of Song of the Week, check out the album in its entirety.

[mp3] Heartless Bastards - Hold Your Head High

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