Heartless Bastards: *Insert Black Keys comparison here*

19 03 2009

As an Ohio gal born and bred, I’m more than familiar with both Dayton’s Heartless Bastards and Akron’s The Black Keys. I’m also well aware that music journos and common folk alike continually compare the bands to each other; I’m here to say stop…please…be a little more creative, k? Both bands are from Ohio, they both play blues-rock, they’re both damn good — that’s where the similarities end. Also, there are more than two sweet blues-rock bands from Ohio (it’s not as podunk as everyone says), just to clear the air.

photo by Jillian Mapes

Not that we’ve settled that, let’s delve into Heartless Bastards. I caught the three-piece’s 10 p.m. set at the NPR showcase tonight, March 18, at Stubb’s, alongside Avett Brothers and The Decemberists (!!!). Heartless Bastards kicked off the show with tracks from their latest release on Fat Possum, titled The Mountain, and immediately frontwoman Erika Wennerstrom establishes herself as the band member with the most balls. Her soulful-yet-rough-edged pipes reminiscent (think Patsy Cline meets Patti Smith) could beat up the delicate-voiced songstresses oh-so common in indie rock any day, and you know, that makes me feel a little grimy…but in a really good way. The trio is tinkering on the edge of widespread adulation, I can feel it, and they most certainly deserve it. — Jillian Mapes




One response

20 03 2009

The band is not a trio anymore.. weren’t you at the Stubb’s show? They have added a band member. Mark Nathan

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