Heartless Bastards The Mountain

Heartless Bastards The Mountain
This Ohio trio's 2006 sophomore effort, All This Time, was a startling declaration that they belonged on the national scene, but now with The Mountain, Heartless Bastards have to be considered one of the most important American rock'n'roll bands out there right now. Perhaps it's just because their straightforward blues rock sound seems so fresh in the face of the never-ending stream of '80s revivalists, but mostly their appeal lies in the unwavering passion of singer/guitarist Erika Wennerstrom. While she largely resembles an electrified Jolie Holland on most of The Mountain, her delivery of complex tales of redemption, such as "Hold Your Head High" and the title track, is never less than inspiring. The same can be said of the banjo and fiddle dominated tracks ("So Quiet" and "Had To Go") that show a new, and surprisingly affecting, side of the band. By swaggering closing track "Sway" there's little doubt that the band know that they're at the top of their game. It's up to roots rock fans everywhere to now take notice. (Fat Possum)