The Kamikaze Hearts
TANGLED UP! 19.3.07

Described as “folk-rock for the indie-rock set”, The Kamikaze Hearts have had a stab at the British market before, but, unfortunately, didn’t get very far. This time, they are riding on the back of Tangled Up! records’ launch and are making a bit more of an impression. Part Simon & Garfunkel, part Wilco, and with elements of The Eagles and (dare I say it?) Fairport Convention, the Albany five-piece have been around for quite some time, but have only recently braved the choppy waters of the Atlantic to move across to the UK.

Opening Track “Top Of Your Head” embraces the band’s folk influences and highlights the strong and distinctive voices of Bob Buckley and Troy Pohl, as it talks about an individual’s shyness. It’s hard not to read this as a reflection on the band. “Defender” sounds familiar in a good way, as the band combine vocals and give a nod towards The Byrds, layering instruments while keeping the sound raw and edgy.

Other standout tracks include “No One Called You A Failure”, which sounds like Antony & The Johnsons making some good music for a change, “Ash Wednesday”, like Beck in his more normal moments, and “Guyana Central High School Class Of ‘78” which is pure West Coast country, despite the band being from the East.

A few of the other tracks drifted away from me a bit, but it’s a chilled out album, on which some tracks are more relaxing than others. It’s a worthwhile package, as the standout tracks spread across the album, so creating natural peaks and troughs that make listening a pleasure.

Like honey for the ears.

Simon Middleyard