Dead Hearts - Dead Hearts (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Dead Hearts

Dead Hearts (2004)

State Of Mind

Although I usually don't get too involved with the brutal NY hardcore department, quite a bunch of those have dropped in my mailbox over the last couple years. Most of them never got a proper review here because I just hate bad roaring and screaming vocals. But lately that scene is really impressing me with some fantastic releases from bands like Kill Your Idols and Western Addiction, to name just a few, that really showed a lot of harmony and/or catchiness and managed to drag me along their stampeding outbursts.

I received the newest releases from State Of Mind recently (including music by Instilled, Sea Of Thousand, My War, Legs Up, With Resistance and TwentyInchBurial), out of which this 8-song CD/EP of this Buffalo, NY band really stood out. It features ex-members of the Control and Can I Say. They have the typical NYHC sound alright, with the obligatory yelling vocalist, but for some weird reason this guy manages to scream in a way that entertained me, and maybe that's because in a sense he still keeps it melodic, helped out by the gang-backings that fit this music well. But without any doubt the most appealing to this band's music are the incredibely good guitars with these nice, sometimes a bit metal-influenced speedy riffs that put that little extra needed cream on top of the heavy bass-section and low thundering leadguitar. The higher-toned riffy guitar licks sometimes even sounded as if they were stolen from a pure mid 90's skate band, but I guess these were produced by musicians that have a lot more technical baggage, because it all sounds much more complicated and fast.

The basic sound however remains tough and hard-bolstered hardcore, and is not easily accessible for pop-punkers out there. This clearly is New York stuff, but I seldom came across a band that makes it sound as accessible as these guys do. "Breakdown" is the outstanding track here, with guitars that strangely enough sound as if they're based on a rock'n'roll tune. You can check it out for yourself on their myspace-page here. Lyrics deal about urban problems, betrayal, love falling apart and other frustrations in life. And that's OK with me, but not different from any of those others in this category. Their music is highly recommended though if you're in for some rollercoaster hardcore without sounding messy. Also be prepared for a new album of this band on Dutch hardcore label Reflections Records, who will take care of their next full-length, scheduled for release in summer 2005.