A great thing about being a music writer is that sometimes you open your inbox, and there’s an email introducing you to a cool new band you’ve never heard of. On one such occurrence, Hiroshima Hearts’ debut EP “Bone Music” instantly grabbed me with its bluesy, melodic rock that flirts with hard rock at times. The opener, “Four Step Down” would have fit comfortably on Skid Row’s “Slave to the Grind”, and that’s due in no small part to the gritty rock ‘n roll voice of singer Jenn Marino. At times, her singing evokes memories of Janis Joplin or Ann Wilson, but with a harder edge. The second track, “Pistol” is a slow bluesy scorcher that gives her ample opportunity to stretch out and put her soul into the music.
The songs remind me a lot of the bluesier hard rock bands of the 80’s, bands that were maybe unfairly lumped in with the glam hair metal scene. Many bands who find inspiration in that era seem to fall more on the parody side, or at least focus on the least interesting aspects of that genre. But these guys cut through the glitter and went straight to that blues connection that made many of those bands so much more interesting than the image ever was.
At their harder edge, they remind me of Skid Row, but when they turn on the blues there’s a Cinderella/Tesla vibe coming through that I like a lot. A lot of new rock bands are drawing again on influences from the 70’s and 80’s, and Hiroshima Hearts does it very well. They’re also the latest in a long line of kick ass rock bands to come out of Canada in the last maybe 10 years. Tell me again how rock is dead?
Admittedly, rock stardom is more elusive than ever though, especially for a new band. The title of their EP, “Bone Music” takes its inspiration from a little known tale of early rock rebellion. “In Soviet Russia, in the ‘50s, American rock records were banned, but people figured out you could actually press music onto old x-rays,” says guitarist Tyler Turek. “They called the records bone music. It’s a really cool story, and it’s symbolic in a way for indie bands like ours. It parallels the way we have to be creative and resourceful to make and share the music we love.”
Check out “Bone Music” if you’re looking for good old blues-rock with a killer voice.
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He's also a regular contributor at the very rad site Montreal Rampage