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Renee Heartfelt
Magdalene
Limekiln Records
www.reneeheartfelt.com


Renee Heartfelt is a sort of ex-hardcore supergroup. Of course, it is a supergroup consisting of members of bands that I have also never heard of, and probably never will, other than this. We're talking about former members of hardcore bands Striking Distance, Count Me Out, and Give Up The Ghost [American Nightmare]. What a pedigree that is.

All smartassedness aside, Renee Heartfelt make that kind of music that borders on hard rock and heavy metal and art rock all at once. Like a kinder, gentler Tool, or a more emo Soundgarden. Thick guitars and heavy rhythms are the defining thing for this band. The singer is powerful at times, very emotive, and it's a bit unfortunate that there are times when his voice can't live up to the passion it produces. But, this is enjoyable upbeat rock music with a punky edge, and some great guitar playing.

The music invokes different memories at different moments. At times, I am reminded of 80's rockers The Outfield ("La Seine") and then other times Big Wreck comes to mind ("Windowside"). The lyrics are a bit of their own conundrum, at times very poetic and then adversely forsaking poetry and compensating with a brilliant literate sense. "Picasso" is a perfect example of odd poetry mixed with literacy: "Days. They have their way with you. Pain. It knows you well. You'd rather kneel than stand you'd rather run than fight. You'll fade out slow and I'll burn out bright…"

I tend to stay away from this type of music… the hardcore/metal/punk/edgey rock stuff. But, this five songs from Renee Heartfelt is truly welcome to my ears and stands out as a nice change in the genre. Lyrics that are sensible and understandable, music that is heavy without being overly abrasive, and a very well developed melodic and poetic sense. Well done, boys.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:

1. Mary Magdalene
2. The Melodramatic
3. Windowside
4. La Seine
5. Picasso


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