It’s hard not to be captivated by Heartless Bastards from the first time you hear them. The Ohio based four piece are a perfect combination of a powerful voice and no nonsense rock and roll.  Today, they release Restless Ones, their fifth album, on Partisan records.  The current lineup, featuring founding member, vocalist Erika Wennerstrom, along with drummer Dave Colvin, bassist Jesse Ebaugh and guitarist Mark Nathan keep that reputation going.

Restless Ones starts out with a ton of noise, the drums and a guitar solo at the beginning of the first track “Wind Up Bird” let the listener know what to expect on this record.  “Gates Of Dawn” opens with Wennerstrom’s unique voice over just acoustic guitar before kicking into another rocking track. That’s followed up by a throwback tune “Black Cloud”.

The first tracks may rock real hard, and with a name like Heartless Bastards, you’d have to expect that, but tracks like the slower “Hi-Line” and “Pocket Full of Thirst” really shine on this record, some real old school southern rock with a voice full of soul. “Into The Light” gets the rockin’ going again, and really showcases how powerful Wennerstrom’s voice can really be, at times overpowering a band that’s anything but quiet. The next track, “The Fool” has a pretty sweet groove, and the penultimate track “Eastern Wind” has a bit of a psychedelic influence to it with a really awesome solo at the end. The album comes to close with one hell of a closer, “Tristessa”, with Wennerstrom singing over music that gets more and more distorted as the song goes on, it’s intense.

Heartless Bastards have made a name for themselves over their last four releases. Their brand of rock and roll with a little bit of southern flair and a very powerful voice. Restless Ones rocks hard, and lives up to that reputation, even if it is a maturation of their sound. There’s so much to like on Restless Ones, from songs that are reminiscent of Neil Young or just the stunning voice of Erika Wennerstrom, this is one record you don’t want to pass on.

Buy Restless Ones on iTunes, Amazon, or their website.
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