The Heartless Devils “El Diablo Sin Corazon”
The Heartless Devils blend Power Pop, Hard Rock, and Garage punk into a sound that is both aggressive and catchy in the spirit of The Ramones and Cheap Trick. The hooks are plentiful and the band doesn’t take itself too seriously in those wrestler masks. The crashing drums and loud riffs penetrate the most jaded listener on “Horror Show,” but the fun really begins with the swaggering “Bad Luck Charm,” which recalls the pop punk of The Godfathers.
The next few tracks are truly terrific, with both “Hold On” and “Blame You” gathering up even more energy and compares well with Paul Collins and The Beat. Other notable tracks include “So Bad” and “Favorite Songs,” but without any slower tunes to break things up it gets a little exhausting toward the albums end. “Larceny” provides a little mid-tempo respite to the listener, but overall a fun album that you can blast loud on the car stereo and give credit to the awesome guitar work of Scott Bittner (lead) and Blaine Horn (bass). In fact, “Blame You” is the new favorite of radio DJ Dave The Boogieman, so you know it’s great.
Matthew Matz “Fallen By The Wayside”
Pennsylvania guitarist Matthew Matz teamed up with vocalist Dean Grey to produce his debut Fallen By The Wayside. Matz has a classic rock style similar to The Gin Blossoms, as evidenced by the impressive “Run Away,” and his guitar skills are superb. The songwriting is pretty standard with some interesting lyrical narratives. “Teenage Loser” is the best example of this; a Cars-like rhythm and sing along chorus about the girl that got away. This leads to the gentle strums of “Gone” which reminds me a bit of Toad The Wet Sprocket. What doesn’t work for me was the occasional heavy handed morality in “Don’t Stray” and the misogynistic bitterness of “Bitch.” Despite this it’s a worthy album, and even the heavier tracks like “Wilmington” which recall Collective Soul are enjoyable with Matzs fine guitar work.
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