Heartless Bastards

Erika Wennerstrom’s lean, muscular alto is a fine match for her band’s sturdy rock. Heartless Bastards churn out gritty tunes with unrelenting beats and bursts of dingy guitar. For the band’s third album, The Mountain, Wennerstrom relocated to Austin, Texas, and refreshed her lineup and her sound, which finds a more laconic country-rock tone reminiscent of Neil Young. Though the album sticks to a smoky blues-rock background, it also showcases a band striding confidently into new territory. It’s even more adventurous vocally, particularly on album closer “Sway,” which Wenner¬≠strom injects with a jazzy trill that boasts a newfound tenderness.

Categories: Music