The Heartless Artichokes - Earning Earnestly (Cover Artwork)

The Heartless Artichokes

Earning Earnestly (2019)

981831 Records dk

I recently went to social media requesting suggestions for newer DIY bands, specifically looking for Folk Punk bands I’d yet to discover. What’s the saying…”Be careful what you wish for”...? I was hit up by several artists, within minutes, stating “Review my band, you’ll love it”, and before I knew it, I had several days worth of music to go explore. One of the groups that caught my attention, solely based on their name, were the Heartless Artichokes. Not knowing what to expect, I went to the internet to see what I could find.

Not every discovery is a winner, though that doesn’t mean that I’m calling what I discovered a “loser”. Based solely on what I could hear, the album seemed to be a woman and a guitar, and not much more, save a few samples and maybe a drum machine on a few tracks. It traveled from one singer songwriter track to another, with little variation in the tracks at all. I did what I could to find the lyrics on the web, hoping I could find something to salvage the hour or so I had devoted to this new find.

I found the lyrics, and unfortunately, wasn’t able to find anything that blew me away (slight understatement), but I have a process when writing a review, and I force myself to listen to an album no less than three times, and try to listen to it at least once with the lyrics in front of me, so I dove in for the second time, lyrics in hand, really attempting to be open to this seemingly unknown, new artist.

My second listen didn’t really change my mind on what I was hearing. I don’t listen to Folk Punk, or Punk in general, to get depressed; I listen to it because I am depressed regarding the world at large, and for the most part, the artists in these scenes seem to get what I’m feeling, and often sing and preach about this despair, and sometimes even what to do about it. The Heartless Artichokes just made me depressed. It wasn’t “sad” music, it was just boring.

I hate writing bad reviews, of anything, but I have promised myself since starting to write these reviews that I would be brutally honest, even if that meant writing a one star review for someone like Fat Mike, who I idolize (don’t ask me why), so I didn’t scrap this review, for that reason alone. I am afraid to say that this may be one of the worst albums I’ve heard, cover to cover, multiple times. I honestly feel bad for the artist because she seems to be trying so hard to pour her soul into every track, and in some other world, maybe someone will get his music, but I did not. That said, about half of the Punk News readers think my musical tastes are the worst ever, so perhaps some of you out there will find this refreshing or groundbreaking.