Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
In this crazy, mixed-up world, there’s no doubt that Hearts and Hand Grenades are set to be a major name judging by the enormous strength of this, their debut.
There is a strident, bold and fearless attitude, led by the compelling and captivating vocals of singer/bass player Stephanie Wlosinski as she leads the band through this roaring fest of gutsy rock with verve.
Heavy hitting material and a piledriving sense of purpose drives ‘Turning To Ashes’ into a statement of intent that speaks of an unstoppable mix of talent and hard work that will see the quartet a name on the lips of a growing legion of fans.
There is a real steel that underpins all they do and this barely controlled fire sees the flames licking at the edges, ready to burst forth.
There is a wonderful tension at play here that adds to the frisson of excitement, the birth of something that’s only just started to spread its wings but is nonetheless incredibly impressive already.
With an urgency that takes your breath away, the opening title track is an all-out assault of twisting and stuttering rhythms that mixes a youthful energy with a steadfast hand, the guitar of Kenny Blesy unleashed to run rampage.
There is something here that light up the sky and demands attention and it’s no huge leap to see why the hand so captivated the Goo Goo Dolls’ Robby Takac when the band opened for the Buffalo hitmakers, leading to his opening doors for them.
This faith is well placed as the quartet punch out one rock solid number after another as ‘For The Weakened’ celebrates it’s tough, loping riff and the vocal fry of Wlosinski, the rasp bringing a delectable edge that breaks through her sweetness and revealing the toughness that lies beneath.
As well as piledrivers such as the fiery ‘Dagger’s and the menacing ‘Nothing Left’ there is an intelligence and depth that bodes well for the future as the manically schizophrenic ‘The In Crowd’ displays as it switched from quant, chintzy 40’s swing into an all-out punky explosion.
Intriguing lyrics like those of ‘I Hide’ show a maturity that will keep you coming back whilst the firepower of ‘Adrenaline’ and album closer ‘My Sickness’ hint at heavier things to come.
Where next though is a question for another day as ‘Turning To Ashes’ both points in future directions but also is more than a fulfilling listen right now.
One thing’s for sure, Hearts And Hand Grenades have the chops and drive to be around for the long run and it’s certainly a journey worth taking with them.
For more info on Hearts & Hand Grenades, visit http://eclp.se/hrts and follow the band on Spotify https://spoti.fi/307CFmv and Apple Music https://apple.co/2P2GJhx and Deezer https://bit.ly/2P5Cvp6 and Pandora https://pdora.co/31gHwBY and Amazon Music https://amzn.to/3duWokM