Only Thieves (Tallahassee, FL)
Heartless Romantics (self-released)
Release Date: January 18, 2011
01. All the Sad Young Men
02. Discoveries (mp3)
03. Flood Lights (mp3)
05. Pioneer Repair
06. The Ballad of the Aluminum Girl
07. Heartless Romantic
10. What’s Wrong
To put it bluntly, Only Thieves‘ debut full-length, Heartless Romantics, is a triumphant conquest of today’s indie rock. Piling layers upon layers of guitars soaked in a molasses of fuzz and overdrive – where rock-n-roll swagger and an old school slacker vibe collide with the urgency and grit of modern punk – the songs that make up this stunning release will certainly evoke memories of The Replacements, Superdrag, Buffalo Tom and other ’80s and early ’90s power-pop. But, there is a whole lot more to this Tallahassee outfit than just a nostalgic sound.
True, Heartless Romantics encompasses all the ethos of those torch-bearing bands of our youth but Only Thieves blends it with the ingenuity and modifications that outfits like the Gaslight Anthem and Lemuria have poured into today’s punk and indie genres. Furthermore, there is undefinable style and substance, not to mention a dynamic progression that when done right, makes driving, hook-filled rock sound absolutely timeless. This is a record that is truly nostalgic without seeming retro, but it’s also modern without sounding polished.
Flowing seamlessly from track to track, constantly bending and building upon the foundation laid down by the album’s infectious melodies, the choruses on Heartless Romantics are big, but the bridges are bigger and the verses keep you holding on, begging for more. There are no studio tricks … none of those parts that you know can’t be reproduced live. Only Thieves specializes in honest, hand-to-mouth rock music. And it’s catchy as all hell, thanks in no small part to Jeremy Barnes’ warm, whisky-soaked vocals and passionate delivery that is belted out with utter sincerity and profound confidence. Combine that with thick, lush and masterfully warm-yet-bright guitars and a rhythm section that can only be defined as “booming,” and you really have a recipe for one of the most memorable records of the year.
So given Only Thieves’ propensity to span a wide range of genres and even musical epochs, it may be initially difficult to see how Heartless Romantics fits into today’s independent music scene. It’s pretty simple, actually: there are those doing truly great things and those that just keep churning out more of the same. And Only Thieves are certainly the former … and top of the class at that.
- Zac Hobbs
Heartless Romantics was engineered and produced by Philip Martin (Look Mexico) and was recorded by Fred Kevorkian at Avatar Studios in NYC. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/onlythieves or www.onlythieves.blogspot.com
Press Contact: Chuck Daley / Beartrap PR / firstname.lastname@example.org (704) 649-7128