A debut that has plenty swagger and packs a considerable punch…
Review by Gary Cordwell
Release date: 11 September 2015
So, Cumbrian four-piece Heartbreak Remedy aim, with this, their debut album, to sit us on the back of their figurative Harley (fitted, obvs, with a flux capacitor) and cruise us back in time, via the Marquee, to Sunset Strip circa ’88. Ok then, I’ll go with this – the spirit is willing even if the hair isn’t able!
An Axl shriek and a turbo charged opening riff scream their intention to rock into your face. Indeed, this is, in their own words, “a rock n roll motherfucker”. Hefty powerchords jostle with a rocking solo and a ‘Whole Lotta Love’ish guitar/drum face off. ‘Already Gone’ has a Steve Jones, low-slung-stolen-Gibson punk edge reminiscent of early Buckcherry while there is a touch of Tyla to Matty Penn’s vocals – slightly behind the beat, sleazy, woozy and lethargic. The Quireboys spring to mind but with less Faces and more Pistols.
‘Cocked And Loaded’ confirms that these songs have a one-track mind (maybe it’s me but I don’t think they’re actually singing about a gun!) – it’s a street smart hoodrat with an oily dollop of wah-wah. Next comes the obligatory morning after ‘love’ song – empties on the floor and last night’s conquest heading for the door. ‘All You’ll Ever Be’ has attitude to spare – it’s a biker boots and battered Marshall amp deal with a hog of a riff and a whiff of John Corabi era Crue. And so it continues, with hair metal aplenty – a touch of boogie here and a dash of Bob Rock-era Cult there – eight tracks in and not a sign of a ballad…
Oh, hang on, here comes ‘Rose’, the prerequisite world weary ballad, the band kicking the wine bottles aside to sit down with their acoustic’s. And then we’re back to the riffs, now with added cowbell! Although you do begin to get the feeling that there is a bit of filler creeping in. The band are racing to the finish line. ‘Thrill Me, Kill Me’ is as glamtastic as it sounds, liberally sprinkled with distortion and glitter and bovver boots while ‘Ice Queen’ has a smirking, dirty guitar sound and a nice, loose breakdown. By now you know the blueprint and the boys aren’t about to let you down. True to form the album ends with a final acoustic ballad, and it’s one of the album’s strongest tracks, the vibe totally suiting Penn’s hungover vocals.
And away they go to get another quick one in before last orders. As a debut, this album definitely shows promise, it has swagger and packs a considerable punch. However, the production is slightly flat and lifeless with Penn’s onstage dynamism and charisma definitely not successfully captured on tape. Also a spot of editing could have whittled this down to a ten track killer! But stick with them, they’re good! Let’s see what they can bring to their second album!
7 out of 10
- Already Gone
- Cocked And Loaded
- Tell Me Why
- All You’ll Ever Be
- Girl At The Bar
- Perfect Crime
- Thrill me, Kill Me
- Ice Queen
- Far Away