Discovering new bands usually leads to catching up with back catalogues and this was very much the case with Desert Hearts. I talked in glowing terms a few weeks back about ‘Hotsy Totsy Nagasaki’ and it was inevitable therefore that debut LP ‘Let’s Get Worse’ would show up here sooner rather than later.
In fact I’ve had the LP for a few weeks now but for one reason or another it’s not made it onto these pages until now. Which, as it turns out, is a good thing.
There’s something about Desert Hearts’ songwriting that I like and LGW illustrates that well. However unlike it successor LP, LGW does have a single stand-out track, the spookily brilliant ‘DSR’.
Initially my thoughts were that ‘DSR’ overshadowed the rest of the LP by a long way. It’s something that the rather basic way in which the songs have been recorded lends some credence to. However repeated listens have put that thought to bed – there’s not a bad song on here – and I’m glad I didn’t rush into putting forward these views as my definitive statement.
What does it sound like? Well, quiet/loud is a formula which has been applied successfully throughout (although ‘May Gold’ perhaps could better be described as Very, Very Quiet/Very, VERY Loud ) but in contrast some of their more downbeat passages seem to have their roots in the bottom of the bottle melancholy of country music.
But Desert Hearts can certainly rock out when they want to as illustrated on ‘This Is This’.
In truth if you’re starting from scratch I’d probably recommend working backwards since HTN is, to my mind, somewhat better produced without losing the energy of this one.
But Desert Hearts are a fine band as the following 2 tracks from ‘Let’s Get Worse’ surely illustrate:
Desert Hearts – DSR
Desert Hearts – May Gold
And if you want to hear what they’re up to, there’s a new demo, ‘Arrow of Time’, on their Myspace.