Imagine being catapulted through a portion of the ’80’s, picking up four fine musicians and then landing around 1966, ’67.  That would be my short description of The Empty Hearts, a new band consisting of 4 giants from the ’80’s – Wally Palmar of The Romantics on lead vocals, Elliot Easton of The Cars on lead guitar, Andy Babiuk of The Chesterfield Kings on bass and Clem Burke, the wonder-drummer of Blondie behind the kit.  This band has the perfect melding of ’60’s riffage, ’80’s raw cool and modern production quality to help it all along.  I’m usually not bold enough to make proclamations before hearing an album but just seeing these guys’ credentials as a single unit – the cohesiveness they present visually; the album art – I knew it would be a “can’t miss” and fuck – I’m right. Add to the stew production by the great Ed Stasium and keyboards added by the one and only Ian McLagan.

Balls out from the first drum kick of “90 Miles An Hour Down A Dead End Street”, this is one sweet ride.  “I Don’t Want Your Love (If You Don’t Want Me)” is one of those everyone-sing-along type anthems; “(I See) No Way Out” is instant classic – background vocals, tight harmonies and riffs galore, plus one bad ass pseudo-psychedelic guitar solo.  “Perfect World” is a guitar thunderstorm, rolling drums and purely proud garage rock; “Just A Little Too Hard” is another radio-friendly pop track with catchy melody and classic hooks.

Okay – I’ve hopefully whetted your appetite for this record.  This is a pure delight.  It’s worth the investment, the time and the space in your mind.  Fill the void with The Empty Hearts.




About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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