The Heartless Bastards did, in fact, get together in Cincinnati in 2003, but I selfishly claim the band for Austin. Vocalist and guitarist Erika Wennerstrom makes her home here, for the time being, and Austin is where the band recorded and produced Arrows, the bands fourth full-length release, at Jim Eno‘s Public Hi-Fi studio.
Quite a few critics hailed Arrows as the band’s best album to date, although there were plenty from The Mountain camp declaring that their third album would not be topped. Fair enough. But throughout it all, there is one defining element that makes Heartless Bastards tunes stand out extraordinarily – Wennerstrom’s voice. Of course, there’s the Bastard’s rawness, the edge, the classic rock sounds, the heavy licks, the sheer intensity. However, it is the way she utilizes her vocals to set a certain tone. Intimate, wistful, magnetic, androgynous. Dare I say it? Dangerous. A unique blend making a unique presence, restless and searching for more.
That would be my love letter to Wennerstrom’s voice. But you need to experience it for yourself. The Heartless Bastards have a show tonight at Antone’s, 213 W. 5th St. And what luck – this happens to be one of those deliriously great triple bills that will get the mind running at top speed. The bill features two other faves, My Jerusalem and The Laughing. Doors open at 8 p.m. Get there early. Recommended.[audio:https://kutx.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/AMM-January-17th-2013.mp3]