For under £20 you too can own a fine quality record of the debut album from power pop punks The Exploding Hearts. Their story is one of tragedy and a band dealt the most extraordinery end in music. There was talk of a documentary about the band but that seems to have gone all quiet and the one remaining member has surfaced to promote this here release, which is the shining light that has come out of this incredable story, apart from the fantyastic bunch of songs that made it to this record and the comp ‘Shattered’.
Four snotty kids with a bunch of Boys like power pop anthems enter a cheap studio and lay down some tracks that clock in at less than half an hour and subsequently blow people’s minds then tragedy strikes and the dream is gone. Kicking off with the majestic ‘Modern Kicks’ as good a power pop punk rock anthem you’ll ever hear, yup it’s that fuckin’ good.
I could have reviewed it from the original I own but I wanted to wait for the remastered to land with the bonus tracks but thanks to Third Man awful distro it was in the shops a few weeks before my copy arrived from their mail-order and almost ten UK pounds cheaper on Amazon but that’s a debate for another day. Where were we? Oh yes ‘Modern Kicks’ what a tune, an absolute gold standard banger. What a legacy to leave behind man some bands have been at it for decades and never wrote a song close to that, but, there’s more. This record is fantastic. House in a nice gatefold and with a decent loud remaster at least Third Man has done the band’s memory proud on that front.
Theres a new wave melody at every turn its like Rockpile if they were late teens mixed with the Boys mixed with valley of the dolls mixed with a hint of The Jam its none more evident than on ‘Throwaway Style’ or the epic and punchy ‘Thorns In Roses’ with the snotty melody and rapid beats underpinned by the chiming guitars before some serious boogieing.
This band could also seriously boogie on down with the best of them – from the Stooges one fingered piano drill on ‘Boulevard Trash’ to the acoustic baladeering on the dreamy ‘Jailbird’ turning the dial back as far as the Kinks or The Who for inspiration but you’re never far away from a Johnny Thunders inspired guitar lick like the snotty ‘Still Crazy’ with its cool as bv’s. As much as I love this album its forever steeped in tragedy but its one hell of a record and Third Man have done them proud here.
With a couple of remixes nailed onto the end is a welcome addition but I can’t urge you enough if you’ve never heard these cats then do it and buy this album – you absolutely won’t be disappointed – these songs rule and have aged superbly well. Long live The Exploding Hearts their flame is still buring thanks to reissues like this. Adam “Baby” Cox, Matt “Lock” Fitzgerald, and Jeremy “Kid Killer” Gage rest in peace fellas your legacy is forever preserved. Long live the Exploding Hearts.
Author: Dom Daley