Hearts & Hand Grenades – Between The Lines

Between The Lines Album Cover Art

Hearts & Hand Grenades – Between The Lines
Eclipse Records
Release Date: 19/11/21
Running Time: 40:52
Review by Simon Black
9/10

Hearts & Hand Grenades started life in New York as a covers act and, thanks to the support of Goo Goo Dolls’ Robby Tabak, were persuaded to record some of their original material … once they had got around to writing some that is! The ‘Wait’ EP was released independently in 2019 (some tracks from which also appear here) and then their full length debut ‘Turning To Ashes’ earlier this year, so a second full length album following on so quickly implies that they have taken to this original music lark like a duck to the proverbial water, even if some material released on earlier EP’s is being reconstituted and given the benefit of a better studio experience. You get the sense that this is a band with the song-writing bit well and truly between their teeth now and that there’s a lot more where this came from just waiting to happen. Releasing anything new in time for a global pandemic when you can’t get out there and tour every toilet and support slot going means getting a wider audience right now is a challenge, but perhaps some good old-fashioned word of mouth can do the trick here, because these folks really deserve it.

Musically this is full on rawking stuff, with a deep vein of that 70’s East Coast Punk attitude of the part of the world that gave us The Ramones, and won’t let us forget it any time soon. The songs are all slightly longer than that kind of classic stuff, but it’s obviously an influence. Musically, these guys have a lot going on for them, so alongside the down tuning and aggression, there’s some subtle technical twists in there to make the anthemic song-writing just that little more well-rounded, as a good catchy riff with a few twists always guarantees. They tend to be lumped into the broad church becoming known as New Wave Of Classic Rock (NWOCR), which is a catch all for anything more Hard or Melodic Rock orientated, that’s likely to appeal to the Metal market whilst not entirely fitting in with it. Let’s face it, that’s a good, broad audience base that means you may actually sell some records – which is just as well, because those crazy overlong journalist acronyms like NWOBHM are a bit of a turn off for ordinary folk…

And I think Hearts & Hand Grenades most likely will sell a fair few …

This is cracking stuff, with a down tuned but melodic sound, some blasting instrumental performances and a vocalist in Stephanie Wlosinski with attitude, range, and enough gutsiness to grab you by the throat, but who knows how to turn on the softer side and show her range when it’s needed. Check out the heavy ballad ‘Moonlight’ if you are in doubt, which borrows a heavy as hell riff from Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’, allows Stephanie Wlosinski to show power through a heart-rending, emotive vocal delivery, whilst still bashing your brains out with the heaviness of the overall musical framework. This is fantastic stuff.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Scream It Out
02. Black Sunset
03. Between The Lines
04. Secret
05. Tragedy
06. Beautiful Pain
07. Bad Medicine
08. Illogical
09. Wait
10. Moonlight

LINE-UP:
Stephanie Wlosinski – Lead Vocals / Bass
Mike Bress – Guitar / Keyboards
Kenny Blesy – Lead Guitar
Tom Lafferty – Drums

LINKS:

Hearts And Hand Grenades Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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