Australia has got a fine pedigree for making top-notch punk rock n roll from the saints through Radio Birdman and more recently The Chats, Amyl & The Sniffers and who can ignore Main Street Brats and Living End and Cosmic Psychos. Well kids add Black Heart Breakers to that list as their coming of age release is with us. Rotting Out might only have six tunes on it but they are the best the band have written so far and show a quality of songwriting they’ve not displayed thus far and I’m somebody who liked what they’ve done before when I say liked I loved it.
Having knuckled down and earned their stripes by playing shows with the likes of Radio Birdman this Sydney four-piece have stepped up a notch and deserve your ears for what amasses to six songs in sixteen minutes and within those sixteen minutes, they capture some real genuine magic. They marry some classic influences and make something that isn’t just a copy but have moulded their influences into something they can claim to be their own which isn’t something that every band achieves and isn’t easy to do.
‘Why Not Me’ starts with a thunderous bass and floor tom work out that harnesses some pace and aggression as we hurtle to the gang vocals that the likes of the Living End have made a living off. The production is sharp and sympathetic to the passion that is obvious to anyone listening. It’s great to hear a band firing on all cylinders straight out of the blocks and if this slab of punk rock and roll is an indication of what’s to come then play on!
The band has made no secrets of loving the Ramones and to be honest there might not be enough bands out there that hold dear the melodies that Da Brothers used to hack out but Black Heart Breakers understand this and thrive off it. ‘Melody’ might be about a young lady but if she’s listening then she’s gonna be one happy lady because this is excellent. The playing is noticeably better than anything they’ve done before as ‘Angels Take Me’ has some sumptuous basslines rolling through its melodic sub-three minutes of punk rock.
Had someone like Green Day released ‘Save Me’ people would be drooling over it and the gang vocals I bet are great live and having one converse foot firmly planted in Dee Dee’s lyric book it’s all good now let’s go Hey Ho!. But the best is coming over the horizon as ‘Burning Out’ introduces a horn section and as I raise an eyebrow as soon as the first toots hit my speakers I’m sold. This is the finest few minutes that Hayden and the boys have had so far. What a song! The breakdown is Clash-tastic and I mean that as a badge of honour and in no way a bad thing. Fantastic track.
To take this mini album home ‘Giving Up’ is a laid-back tune about friendship that builds and builds sure it’s been done a million times but if the song works then do it and this works a treat. I love the rolling drums on the build-up to the chorus and the solo is on fire! Tres bien boys tres bien. One of the most rounded and best mini albums I’ve heard all year. Check out Black Heart Breakers because the world needs youngsters like these they make old men like me fall in love with music over and over again. Cheers!