For Heartless Bastards, rock 'n' roll entails a lot of heavy lifting, most often in the form of hundreds of club shows each year. It's a work ethic reflected on the Ohio-born, Austin-based band's albums, as singer/guitarist/powder-keg Erika Wennerstrom sets her rugged wail against the efforts of musicians churning out muscular blues-rock.
Typically, this isn't a band prone to periods of extended relaxation, which makes the four-year gap leading up to Heartless Bastards' forthcoming fifth album all the more surprising. But the collection, out June 16, is titled Restless Ones for a reason: The band spent much of that stretch touring and otherwise traveling, and didn't settle down long enough to record new material until late in the summer of 2014.
With the help of producer John Congleton, Restless Ones mixes the polished proficiency of a hardened road band with the inventiveness of musicians who remain in hot pursuit of new ideas. In this first taste of the record, "Gates Of Dawn," Heartless Bastards' big, bluesy sound feels slick and streamlined, with choruses that get grander and grander as the song chugs along.
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