Uh-oh! Only a few more months til the end of 2009 and there are still tons of records to review! Luckily, one of my favorite local Portland duos, Slutty Hearts, squeezed in their debut EP/CD, “Monster”, release on October 30th!
Listen to Slutty Hearts “God Damned Sun”
CDs are in trouble.
The content of the formerly beloved medium has been castrated as it goes through the intangible myriad of technology – the age of digital music players, it’s physical remains inevitably ending up on the floor of a car – a scattered plastic cemetery – or is laid to rest in the lonely depths of one’s closet. Though even as CDs edge towards the music industry apocalypse, independent bands are still hosting CD release parties and using the medium to spread their sonic love. Today, in order for the CD to survive and revive it’s importance in the physical world (and compete against the resurgence of vinyl records), bands must get creative.
Portland based duo, Slutty Hearts, are one of these bands. Armed with a glue stick, a stash of magazine clippings and the skeletons of digi-packs and used plastic cases, Slutty Hearts attempt to resurrect the legacy of the CD – making each artifact radiate with originality…
Slutty Hearts music is equally charming and DIY in nature as they cut and paste the best elements of lo-fi garage rock in their five song debut EP entitled “Monster”. It’s gritty, it’s raw, it’s sexy, it’s a bewitching vamp of simplicity, it’s a modern take on late 60’s garage rock.
“GOD DAMNED SUN” begins with a moody guitar thrust that is reminiscent of both early PJ Harvey and The Kills. Marisa Laurelle’s sweet-sung vox soften the edgy punch of Marty Smith’s ramblings. It sounds like sucking out the venom of an ex lover in a heart break hotel.
“GIMMIE” : Oh how we lust after what we have not! Slutty Hearts explore what they want the very most in this life in this bitchy little tune. Is it really too much to desire a $100 scotch or have a fabulous ass? (Disclaimer: Probably not the best song to play to children who aren’t already feeling entitled as the chorus of “Gimmie More” is quite catchy).
“ARE WE THERE YET” : Quite the comedown from the first songs, this track is a sleepy drive home beginning with a slowly strummed guitar and singer Marisa Laurelle’s slightly sad vocals. This band has a knack for excellent vocal melody. Halfway through the song there is an explosion of sonic mayhem in the form of feedback oozing off of a theramin – a reverent salut to bands from the 90’s who missed the underground cool of the 60’s.
“EVEN THE STARS”: As Marisa Laurelle croons, “even the sun prefers the night” I look out my window and declare this the perfect song for this town as Portland starts to dim at 11:27AM. The world seems to die every second as we edge closer to darkness. There’s talk of parties and discos in the sky. Almost country in it’s tone, I thought I heard the spirit of Johnny Cash whispering towards the end, “even sometimes the stars go out”.
“MONSTER”: The hearts bring back the beat with the final track of this excellent debut. Sweet as spiked soda-pop the song has an undercurrent of nostalgia for young romance and simpler times: like falling in love in front of a car stereo. “Monster” is poppy, upbeat and an uplifting way to end a record.