CD Review: Heartless Bastards

Arrow (Partisan)

Like so many bluesmen before her, Erika Wennerstrom has got ramblin' on her mind. The frontwoman for Heartless Bastards — originally from Cincinnati, now based in Austin — has spent four albums crisscrossing the country in search of some peace of mind. On Arrow, she aims for a measure of stability and generally hits her target, with deep howls and growls steering every step of the way. "Came to another fork in the road," she sings on the opening "Marathon," a six-minute slow-burner that eventually kicks up like a dust storm in a desert. "That's where we decided to part." In the next song, "Parted Ways," the band slides into an indie-rock groove that pulls at Wennerstrom's bluesy voice. They never let up. "I'm on my way home," she sings at the beginning of Arrow. Don't believe her — this is the start of another journey. — Michael Gallucci

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