The Heart Attacks - Hellbound and Heartless (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Heart Attacks

Hellbound and Heartless (2006)


Forget the last time I criticized an album's cover based on the goofy press photo adorning it -- this one takes the cake. In fact, I can't think of any band in the last ten years that has managed to look quite as much like a gaggle of goons as Atlanta, Georgia's the Heart Attacks on the cover of their Hellcat debut Hellbound and Heartless.

OK, so it's obvious they're going for an image. The Nikki Sixx look? Close…"Glam punk." You know, kind of like the New York Dolls. And they actually pull off the sound quite well.

The album kicks off with Johnny Thunders-style guitar licks on the opener "You Oughtta Know by Now," introducing the snotty yet dramatic vocals of singer Chase Noles. The third track, "Eyes" is easily one of the catchiest numbers on Hellbound and Heartless, featuring pounding piano chords and impressive saxophone playing which gives the song a throwback rockabilly feel. That feel is taken one step further on the next track as the band takes a stab at Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Travellin' Band," which features a guest guitar solo by Mr. Tim Armstrong. Interestingly, the two songs with a saxophone are some of the stronger ones on the album, as it seems to set them apart in an album of songs mostly composed of similar instruments and rhythms.

Rock and roll legend Joan Jett makes a guest vocal appearance on "Tearstained Letters," a great song that should have been cut off somewhere a little after the two-minute mark, but instead lingers for about two-and-a-half more minutes. "Runnin' with a Gang" features solid music but unfortunately suffers from lyrics that are poor, yet indicative of the Heart Attacks: "Bats out let's fight, bats out c'mon let's fight / Knives out let's fight, knives out that's right let's fight / Guns out let's fight, let's fight and we'll all just die tonight / Yeah they're big and they got ten, we got twenty, bats out, who you think'll win?"

Produced by Lars Frederiksen and featuring guest spots from Tim Armstrong, Brett Reed, and Joan Jett, the Heart Attacks certainly have a foundation for success. Whether or not the Heart Attacks catch on remains to be seen, but they've proven themselves adequate with Hellbound and Heartless and offered a handful of fun, unique songs that can stand on their own.