HEARTLESS BASTARDS > The Mountain
Label: FAT POSSUM
It has been almost three years since Heartless Bastards’ last release, the critically acclaimed All This Time. But after spending more than sixth months holed-up with producer Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Dead Confederate, …Trail of Dead), Erika Wennerstrom knocked out The Mountain, a follow-up good enough for fans to forget the wait they endured. The title track is a beast of an opener, setting the tone with HB’s trademark burly instrumentation and Wennestrom’s distinctive yowl. At times, this is her most raucous album to date. “Early in the Morning” packs a punk-infused punch, while “Witchy Poo” hinges upon towering guitar and drums. Even the unplugged, “Be So Happy,” has a certain swagger. Other acoustic-inflected material doesn’t fare as well, such as the cluttered “Wide Awake,” and the longwinded “Had to Go.” Though the stellar hooks of album closer “Sway” make those missteps easy to dismiss. This is one Mountain worth climbing.