Album review

The Heartstrings

The Heartstrings are a seven piece band, more of that later, from, well, it doesn’t say so, I’ll take a guess at middle England – home to tea, cricket and flags flying in gardens. They recently recorded live shows for Dermot O’ Leary (yes, him) and Janice Long (remember her) on Radio 2. In June, that we are no longer in, they are going to be releasing a second single. In general things are going well. Obviously I’m waffling here, but why?

The Heartstrings, do I find them pulled by this band?

Fundamentally there is nothing wrong here. The touchstones are the same melodic ones that we find advertising everything from cars to personal hygiene products. Easy enough on the ears to hang any idea upon, it’s not going to be uncommon music to you dear listener/reader. You’ll have an idea of it already – it’ll be whimsical, a bit naff and all kinds of sweet natured. If it was man it might be Chico of ‘Chico Time’ fame, but less, well, sleazily scary.

I’m sure I must have missed the edict that meant raiding your dads record collection for ideas. I thought the plan was always to create music that destroyed all your parents held dear to their hearts, Barbara Dickson, ELO, Yes, etc, etc. Maybe Mr The Heartstrings’ mom and pa had a shed load of VU and Napalm Death hidden under their bed.

For this is music that asks no questions nor provides any answers. It trundles along, exquisitely played, and pops a few melodies in here and there. But it subsumes itself in bland, it becomes background music for radio announcers to read the travel news over. It is nice and all, but just too damn nice, a magnum of Creamola foam after a tub of Ben Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.

Also, I can’t hear the seven pieces of the band coming together to do anything, it’s akin to those moments when Mark Ronson picks up his guitar to gurn away with his backing band. It’s not even plugged in Ronson.