Earth Heart initially formed following a chance meeting of singer-songwriter Katie Coriander and drummer Matt Axten. Matt played at her solo show the next day and the rest as they say is history. They’ve recently recruited bass player Nathan Keyes to, in their own words, “round out their sound.”
On the evidence of debut album Homesick, Earth Heart make a spectacularly filthy, grungy, clattering racket of a noise. They don’t really stray from the classic garage-punk bass,drums, guitar trio, whilst Katie’s guttural howl of a vocal brings to mind Be Your Own Pet’s Jemima Pearl, or even Courtney Love. Musically in the rapid distorted electrics and unhinged rhythms there are shades of Weaves, only with less artsy-poise and more primal yelp.
Earth Heart are from Boston, Massachusetts. With a population of over 650,000 people, Boston is the largest city in New England, and the 23rd largest in the United States. The city is part of the larger Greater Boston area, which is home to over 4.7million people. Although famously full of Irish descendants, Boston is actually named after the city in Lincolnshire where many of the original settlers came from. Famous for its numerous universities and colleges it’s perhaps unsurprising that it has an impressive indie-rock heritage, giving the world Galaxie 500, The Pixies and The Lemonheads.
Earth Heart formed in 2013, with Nathan joining in the January this year. They self-released their debut album, Homesick, earlier this month.
There’s something excitingly raw about Earth Heart; they rarely stray from the same formula of biting, overdriven guitars, drums that are part bassy thump and part loose cymbal clatter, and fuzzy bass. It might not be the most subtle of noises, but it sure is affecting.
Opening track Burn paints the picture, it’s an unhinged blast of surf-punk meets the sonic swamp of The Cramps. Katie’s words are often lost in the instrumental howl behind her, but you get the general feeling she’s mightily pissed off about something, especially when the only words that catch you ear are snippets like, “you’re gonna burn.” It’s a visceral aural assault for the most part, and none the worse for that.
Elsewhere latest single Demon is a spitting cobra of a track, seemingly about not getting swept away in pursuit of your dreams, no matter how enticing they may at first appear. Whilst Mario Brothers is just as goofy as you’d hope, borrowing the bass line from the Nintendo franchise, and pairing it with lyrics about really wanting to beat your little brother at Mario, “I’ll trick him into going into the miners world, I’ll tell him it’s a cool cheat, he’s going to lose all his lives, he’s gonna run out of time” it rather chillingly concludes, “I am a good big sister, I will prepare him for the real world.”
Best of all is the title track, Homesick. It’s pretty much the perfect Earth Heart track; it levels the tricky balancing act of melody and energy and creates something rather magic out of it. Whilst lyrically it leaves a lot to be deciphered by the listener, it’s laced with a sort of uneasy tension, like the start of an episode of 999 where you’re just waiting for the whole thing to go horribly wrong, whether it does or not, well we haven’t quite worked that out yet.
At times Earth Heart do come across a little one dimensional, with their debut record only showing minimal variation and progress between tracks. Still a highly promising debut that suggests with a little more development that Earth Heart could be onto something special.
Homesick is out now, available via Bandcamp.