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Monday, 24 November 2014

Best of 2014: The S4L Rock Album of the Year 2014 (Part One)

In choosing The S4L Rock Album of the Year 2014 I was presented with a dilemma of sorts: there were actually two albums that stood out so far ahead of the rest that it was actually very hard to split them. I sat and listened to both albums again and again to try and see if there was one thing that jumped out of speakers that made me say, "Yes, that's the One!" But I still couldn't make the decision. So, in order to combat this I thought, "Hey, this is my blog, and if I want to give these two albums equal billing then I can do that!" That's what I've done. I won't tell you here what the second album is (why spoil the fun!) as I will deal with that in the next post. Let me begin then by announcing the first album: 

THE S4L ROCK ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2014:
THE EMPTY HEARTS - THE EMPTY HEARTS 
(429 RECORDS)
RELEASED 5TH AUGUST 2014


When I first heard about this project I had the feeling that it was going to be a fantastic collaboration between four guys from very different bands each bringing that something special under one banner and unleashing sounds that you just hadn't heard in awhile.

I wasn't far wrong either. Elliot Easton (The Cars), Clem Burke (Blondie), Wally Palmar (The Romantics) and Andy Babiuk (The Chesterfield Kings) make up the band known as The Empty Hearts, and their music is guaranteed to fill that void!

The album has got a real kind of sixties kick to it (reminiscent of The Who in their early days and also The Action), with a dash of New Wave Punkiness, old school Rhythm and Blues and plain old Rock 'n' Roll. Personally speaking, I don't think there's a bad track on it, therefore it's totally worthy to be The S4L Rock Album of the Year 2014.

The Empty Hearts (a name coined by Little Steven from his secret list of unused band names), is a band who sound like musical cohorts—all came of age in the 70’s and 80’s music scenes and play by a DIY punk rock code of ethics.  A self-proclaimed band of “rock and roll lifers”, the chemistry clicked immediately - they are all connected having come together as a band of friends.

Says Clem Burke: "Those common influences are what brought us together.  We’re survivors and lifers of rock ‘n’ roll. We take from everything that’s come before musically. A lot of people have never heard or seen a band like this. There’s a freshness to it, at the same time as it’s a recollection of the past."


Tracklist
Some of the links are Live Versions of the songs from the album.


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