Embracing a host of flavoursome flavours in their energy loaded sound, UK quartet Heartbreak Remedy create rock ‘n’ roll which just rolls with the instincts to party. The weight of proof comes in their self-released debut album Midnight Groove, a collection of tracks which may have found variable success with personal tastes at times but all left an appetite for more of their feisty enterprise.
Hailing from Cumbria, Heartbreak Remedy emerged in 2013 with the intent of merging LA’s classic rock sound with seventies bred grooves. The band’s founders, vocalist/bassist Matty Penn and drummer Stephen Jackson soon linked up with guitarists Callum Glynn and Luke Blair, that union the springboard for Heartbreak Remedy and a live presence which began with a debut show at Trillians in Newcastle playing alongside Enuff Z’nuff. 2014 saw the band playing across the UK, their own potent gigs beside support spots with the likes of The Quireboys, The Electric Boys, Kory Clarke/Warrior Soul, The Burning Crows, Bad Touch, Falling Red, and Knock Out Kaine. A full UK tour with The Last Vegas only added to their emerging presence and reputation whilst with two well-received EPs also under their belts, the band more recently has shared stages with Hardcore Superstar, Keri Kelli, and Brad Gillis, and played the Hard Rock Hell Road Trip in Ibiza. Now with its national release, it is the turn of Midnight Groove to awaken new ears.
Heartbreak Remedy seemingly gets referenced to the likes of Mötley Crüe, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Deep Purple most often, something relatively understandable as the opening track of Midnight Groove erupts in ears. There is certainly something familiar to their sound and seemingly no real intent to be dramatically adventurous but for heart bred rock ‘n’ roll there is little to dismiss the album over or first song Convoy. As soon as a single groove entangles ears attention is awake and seriously intrigued, especially once increasingly anthemic rhythms pave the way for a vocal bellow from Penn and the riff driven stroll it sparks. The beats of Jackson become even crispier bait as the bass of Penn offers a great grumbling lure whilst with acidic hooks and sparkling guitar endeavour wrapped in blues rock hues dancing in ears, the track gets more adventurous and compelling with every passing minute.
The following Already Gone is a slightly mellower proposition energy wise and in tone, and maybe because of this lacks the same spark as its predecessor, though the guitars again potently entice with their melodic narrative before Cocked and Loaded from a great devilish bassline emerges as another fiery slice of blues/hard rock. Vocally Penn is a touch wayward at times but equally more expressive as the track dangles spicy grooves and magnetic bait from the bass in ears.
Things really pick up with Tell Me Why, the track a sonic floozy of southern grooves and seventies seeded funk ‘n’ roll. Rhythms add a dark edge to the encounter, the muscular tones of the bass aligning to jabbing swipes from Jackson as the guitars of Glynn and Blair weave a contagious temptation of sultry grooves and riffs. Quickly establishing itself as a major highlight of the album, it seems to ignite something in the release as the following pair of All You’ll Ever Be, with its tangy lining to a nest of writhing grooves, and the pulsating Girl At The Bar keep the new plateau of good times rolling. Both tracks enjoyably explore contrasts and essences of discord, with the latter also slipping into something more eighties glam rock coloured to pleasing effect. The fact that there is a constant raw almost punkish surface and inner flame to the band’s sound only adds to the potency of indeed all three tracks and those to follow.
The skittish beats and southern seducing of Heartbreaker provides feet and imagination with the base for a good time which the southern/seventies hard rock textures of Southside recruit in its own dusty stroll before Rose clams things down with its soothing melodic croon. Guitars cradle ears with their tantalising melodies and evocative reflection whilst Penn almost mesmerises with his emotive croon. The song reveals more of the depth and diversity in the band’s sound, than arguably all the previous songs added together, simultaneously adding another high point to the release.
Next up Perfect Crime reveals more of the punk essence which lies within the band’s sound, fusing it with a dirtier hard rock proposal before its successor Thrill Me. Kill Me musically snarls around more restrained but nicely diverse vocals and Ice Queen sizzles in a bluesy climate, its guitars a sonically bubbling and hazy protagonist around funky rhythms and plainer vocals. It is a slim yet rich fusion of contrasts which works a treat though is over shadowed by the album’s closing triumph it is fair to say.
Like Rose earlier, Far Away is a captivating ballad with Penn really coming into his own as acoustic guitars embrace every syllable and escape of emotion. An increasingly impressive treat, it is a fine end to a rather enjoyable proposition from Heartbreak Remedy. Midnight Groove suggests at times that maybe the band’s sound is more potential than realisation right now, but to that offers the promise and excitement of bigger and bolder things ahead.
Midnight Groove is released on Friday 11th September through all stores.
Pete Ringmaster 10/09/2015