Metal Hearts Socialize

The history of Metal Hearts is rooted in so much teen angst it’s difficult to determine which is more intriguing, their story or their music? When teenagers Anar Badalov and Flora Wolpert Checknoff met in high school, they became enemies before friends and musical partners. Anar began dating Flora’s best friend, which set up a relationship built on opposition that eventually turned into respect once they heard each other’s lo-fi recordings. Ditching college to see what could become of their musical collaboration, the two formed Metal Hearts, drafting in Sam Leiber to play drums and work as the engineer on their debut. Socialize is the fruits of their labour, and though the influences are hard not to pinpoint, the band have plenty of original ideas to keep this from falling victim to screams of "copycat!” The programmed beats and sliding guitar work are in the spirit of Arab Strap, as the duo concoct mildly morose mood music. Nowhere near the overtly wretched disposition of that Scottish duo, Badalov and Checknoff aren’t opposed to melody, using plenty of good-natured guitar interplay amongst their variety of supporting instruments, such as the piano, saxophone and keyboards. While a case could be made for one of them to write a couple of stand out songs just to release the record from its impending moody make-up, Socialize is indeed a record worth exploring for the character study of these two fascinating individuals alone. (Suicide Squeeze)