For a while I’ve been wanting to revive Classic Album Tuesdays just because, well I haven’t posted anything in literally weeks. I’m ready to give up on the year-by-year thing we were doing, and since it’s Valentine’s Day I figured I should pick something “romantic” (heh heh). I really couldn’t think of anything better-suited than this buoyant collection of love songs with a ’70s punk-inspired edge from a Northwest band that seemed to be bursting with potential.
The Exploding Hearts more or less embodied what it should have sounded like when punk rock and pop melodies got in bed with each other, instead of the pop-punk that glutted the early-00’s. It’s kind of amazing the way these guys walk such an endearing line between doughy-eyed power pop and the kind of rough-and-tumble scruffiness that marked the first wave of punk rock. In fact, you could easily make comparisons between The Exploding Hearts and bands like The Ramones and The Buzzcocks, as they certainly owe a lot to those retro sounds. However, I think this album holds up as more than just a piece of punk nostalgia, because I honestly think these songs are just as good as most of the music that came out of that first punk rock explosion of the late 70’s.
Of course the sad thing about The Exploding Hearts is that this is the only album the band would release, as a few months after it was released, the band was involved in a tragic car accident that claimed the lives of three of the band’s four members. None of that sorrow seems to overshadow the music however, as Guitar Romantic stands as one of the more joyous rock albums I’ve ever heard. Maybe it’s a bit soon to be heralding Guitar Romantic as a “classic” since it’s still undeservedly obscure, but if you’re looking for a great pick-me-up on this most pointless of holidays, I’d look no further.
Favorite Tracks: “I’m A Pretender”, “Sleeping Aides & Razorblades”, “Rumours In Town”