The Exploding Hearts Shattered

Packed with unlimited potential, the Exploding Hearts’ name came to fruition for their mushrooming fan base on July 20, 2003 when three of the four band members died in a tragic van crash (guitarist Terry Six and manager Ratch Ramos were the only survivors). Having just released their now-classic Guitar Romantic debut that year, it was gut-wrenching news, especially considering these guys were literally the illegitimate lovechild of the New York Dolls and Buzzcocks. The aptly named Shattered is a final farewell to the Oregon-based outfit, collecting what remained in their catalogue alongside their singles. The first half of this compilation contains unreleased material and non-album tracks, while the second half presents some alternate versions of those songs plus Guitar Romantic cuts. "Shattered (You Left Me)” sets the mood with Adam Cox’s saccharine snarl summarising the heartbreak of the listener, while favourite single "(Making) Teenage Faces” speaks for delinquent youth with indispensable nuisance. Different versions of "Modern Kicks” and "I’m A Pretender,” meanwhile exude enough difference from the originals, but it doesn’t really matter considering they’re songs are so infectious hearing them the nth time is like a fresh treat. Also included are some great liner notes and photos in a 20-page booklet, and a video from the band’s second to last gig, which is enough incentive alone. Leaving us Shattered, the Exploding Hearts share one last memory of a vital young band just hitting their stride. They will be missed. (Dirtnap)