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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Review-The-Lockhearts-Tales-From-the-Sea-Volume-1-and-2

THE LOCKHEARTS

TALES FROM THE SEA - VOLUME 1 and 2

Independently released| Release Date: July 13 2015

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Every now and again you hear a home-grown act that captures the imagination, and every so often that promise translates into a great song or release, but sometimes it goes further and you hear a band that you know has that indefinable quality you can only describe as real rock and roll. Real rock and roll is that vibe, that essence, that primitive connection that transcends current styles and fads and places the band right in the heart of it all. The Lockhearts are that band for 2015 with the power and the ability to captivate you, to connect and embed themselves somewhere under the skin.


At their collective heart The Lockhearts is a band that embraces the real essence of Bluesy Rock and Roll that The Stones and Zeppelin did in their prime, but seen through the sheen of several further generations, The result is that they sound both familiar and exotic, both primal and assured, tight and loose like The White Stripes or The Black Keys, they manage to create their own universe that they allow you to inhabit with them.


On ‘Tales From the Sea’,  recorded in the basement studio of bassist Jameel’s childhood Avalon home over three months of weekends   the band has, under the guidance of Producer/Engineer Mo Mayhem managed to capture bot the warmth of the surroundings and well as the elemental feel of a live show that so few bands ever manage to translate effectively.


The material itself is sublime and eclectic though connected by a Blues soul. The core members – who contribute two guitars, vocals and bass, add drums and Hammond in the studio to give a vital 70’s feel that evokes two of my favourite bands – The Faces and The Black Crowes.


The band ended up with eight tracks – and opted for two EPs rather than an album, it’s kind of cool to see the orange and the blue releases side by side. While musically there is little to split the two in terms of quality the first Volume feels lighter and breezier, whilst the second and our favourite adds the extra grunt.


Volume One


You start with ‘Hope’ and it grows from there it seems…


 Volume One starts with the compelling and uplifting story of hope and perseverance again all odds. It’s a song that introduces the instruments one by one before the vocal kicks in and sets up the story, before a great chorus off the back of a simple and infectious riff pushes in, followed by a guitar solo which bristles and bursts into the groove and the song shifts into a chanted gospel-like affirmation. It’s a great way to open. Second track ‘The Way to Thunder Road’ is both more immediate and incessant: a road song with impressive harp and swirling organ that bursts into life from the off. It’s impossible either to be unmoved or to not image the power of a song like this live. Break up song ‘The Game’ switches again and takes on a Southern-vibe, drenched in melody and an almost Country-like sway. Already The Lockhearts feel like a band with so much to say and the EP closes just as strongly as it opened with the largely acoustic strains of the delicate ‘If Time Was on my Side’.


Volume Two


The second, ‘blue’ EP is an entirely different beast from the gates – whereas the first EP caressed you into gentle submission the second immediately demands you attention. ‘Low’ the first single is exactly the darker heart that you hoped lurked behind the more reflective trappings that adorn the first EP. Volume Two is both harder-edged and more elemental and eschews stealth for blunt force. ‘Low’ is one of the best songs we’ve heard all year, with a spiky organ that counterpoints the dense groove and chanted vocal refrain. There’s an almost Wall of Voodoo meets Black Keys quality to what will surely be the song that breaks a few venue windows and has the audience moving as one. ‘Detonator’ that follows it positively bristles with a feeling of frustration and anger and it’s that ability to consistently capture mood and emotion that across the two EPs sets The Lockhearts aside from most bands out there. ‘Detonator’ begins with a punky riff and a spiky vocal that isn’t a million miles away from the Sleazy leftovers of the eighties sunset strip in attitude but with a decidedly modern in execution. ‘Hush’ throws a curve ball again – an accomplished sing along stadium filler that has an almost Celtic intonation and some truly memorable moments even before the stunning solo that seeks to and succeeds in underlining everything that has gone before. It’s an uplifting song that implores you to live every moment and a real highlight. The second EP closes with one of the most interesting offerings – ‘Meet You there again’ – all spikey and spacey guitar, lush melody and insistent backline that has a progressive rock leaning which melds The Manics and urgency of vintage U2 via Birds of Tokyo. A great way to close both the release and a live show.


The band is currently on tour, so catch them while you can, we can’t imagine them playing such intimate venues for very much longer. Local music never sounded so good or essential – you need The Lockhearts…    


 
COMPETITION

Win a copy of both Volume 1 and 2 - we have twoe sets to give away courtesy of the band , with copies of the band's single 'Low' for runners up. You know the drill - e-mail leslie [at] therockpit.net with 'The Lockhearts' in the title..

Winners will be drawn on release date July 13

 

 

by Mark Rockpit

 


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