with Jonny Fritz
Event SummaryLIMITED SEATED SHOW WITHOUT RESERVED BOOTH EXPECT TO STAND. --
Brimming with confidence and creativity, Arrow sees Heartless Bastards pushing their distinctive sound forward with their most eclectic, energetic collection thus far. The album ï¿½ the Austin, Texas-based bandï¿½s first release with Partisan Records ï¿½ is marked as ever by singer/guitarist/songwriter Erika Wennerstromï¿½s remarkable voice, at turns primal and pleading, heartfelt and heroic. Songs like ï¿½Parted Waysï¿½ and the searing ï¿½Low Low Lowï¿½ expertly capture the Bastardsï¿½ multi-dimensional rock in all its strength and spirit. Following upon the difficult introspection of 2009ï¿½s acclaimed third album, The Mountain, Arrow stands as a powerhouse new beginning for the Heartless Bastards.
ï¿½The Mountain was me going through some things after being in a relationship for nine years,ï¿½ Wennerstrom says. ï¿½This album is kind of like me being comfortable again.ï¿½
Arrow serves as the recorded debut of the Heartless Bastardsï¿½ current iteration, their latest and greatest line-up since Wennerstrom first convened the band back in 2003. Drummer Dave Colvin and bassist Jesse Ebagh ï¿½ both of whom played on the Bastardsï¿½ first-ever demo recordings ï¿½ returned to the fold in order to play live behind The Mountain. Soon after embarking on tour, Wennerstrom decided to put more meat on the bandï¿½s raw bones by enlisting guitarist Mark Nathan, who had ostensibly come aboard to handle the live sound.
ï¿½I wanted to add another guitar,ï¿½ Wennerstrom says, ï¿½so I asked Mark, ï¿½What do you think of joining the band?ï¿½ and he was into it. Iï¿½ve always planned on being a four-piece, but it just takes a while to find somebody that you feel you click with. Iï¿½d rather have it be stripped down than just have somebody there for the sake of having them there.ï¿½
The expanded line-up brought additional color and dynamism to the Heartless Bastardsï¿½ already colorfully dynamic rock ï¿½nï¿½ roll. With their sound honed to a razorï¿½s edge by night after night of playing live, the Heartless Bastards were soon ready to record for posterity. But having spent so much of the past year on tour, Wennerstrom knew she needed some downtime in order to turn her musical ideas into fully-fledged songs. In Fall 2010, she embarked on the first of what would be several solo road trips designed to clear the cobwebs and help focus her songwriting. Wennerstrom visited friends and family in Ohio, hung out at All Tomorrowï¿½s Parties in the Catskills, spent alone time in Arkansas, a lake cabin in the Allegheny Mountains and at a ranch in West Texas.