Artist : Mr Heart
Album : The Unspeakable Mr Heart
Lable : Self – released
Release Date : 2nd November 2012
Get It from –http://www.mrheart.co.uk/#
After what feels like an age the debut album from Mr Heart finally gets a release. Long standing fans will recognise that six of the tracks on the album made a prior appearance on “The Hide” EP – but it should be noted from the outset that these are re-workings/re-recordings of those tracks and an absolutely vital part of the album.
Things have moved on a little since previous bassist Kin left – with Sophie Lord now holding the four string responsibilities there has been a shift in direction and overall feel. Whilst the core elements of the trio’s original schema are still there the intent and variety in the material is more substantial. Helen’s excellent drums propel the whole thing along with a mixture of deftness and pure power. Tamsin’s voice has never sounded better and the range of sounds she conjures from her guitar are impressive to say the least, and to complete the trio Sophie is an outstanding bass player.
I am aware that a great deal of work went into the recording and production of the album and this manifests itself in some remarkable performances and sonic wonderment throughout. There are some memorable moments across the piece and some surprises as well. The utterly beautiful “Amber” for example demonstrates a whole new side to Tamsin’s writing and the band’s delivery.
There are always comparisons made with other artists when people fulminate about this band which I tend not to agree with. I always like to listen to them on their own merits and regard them as unique in their approach to the music, and the lyrical content and breadth of sound which emerges from the interplay between the three band members. What i’m trying to say is they don’t sound like anyone else – they sound like Mr Heart.
There are moments on the album with a pure “wow” factor – the outstanding “Vacuum Head” is a tour de force, containing a beautifully restrained anger, which develops into a memorable sonic assault, a truly unique sound. The cynical polemic of “Riot Song” contains some of the most spot-on social commentary you are likely to hear on a rock record, and the vocal layering on the excellent “Dynamo” – which is actually delivered that way in a live setting – demonstrates the band are not afraid to play with new tech.
Add to that a fascinating remix of “The Hide” by Kin and the ambient reworkings of “Vacuum Head” by AAAK and you have an absolutely stunning album.