Music & Clubs

Careless Hearts

HEARTS FULL OF NAPALM: Careless Hearts' three-song EP reveals what happened when they started hanging out with the Stooges.

EVERYBODY who saw Careless Hearts play with Stooges guitarist James Williamson in 2009 knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of gig. It was the South Bay's best show that year. But who knew we'd still be feeling the aftershocks two years later? We are, thanks to Careless Hearts. They were a fairly mild-mannered Americana outfit prior to hooking up with Williamson, but as I wrote about last fall, that show planted a seed in the band—something darker and harder.

That seed finally sprouted this year with the band's three-song EP, which shows off their new direction. It's tempting, of course, to look for all the Stooges connections, especially in the tough-as-nails "I'd Be a Wreck." Not only are the lyrics way Iggyed up ("I'd eat only trash/ I'd spend up all my cash"), but vocalist Paul Kimball indulges some of the deep-throated vocal mannerisms he re-created perfectly when filling in for the Pop idol. But to assume they've simply become Stooges 2.0 would be a huge mistake. When these guys search and destroy, they're still barnburning, staying true to the alt-country sound that has always been at the core of their music. "Emily," despite its fantastic amped-up drums and double-time pace, is a country song. And "Raspberry Wine"'s lap steel gives a nice Big Sky touch to what otherwise would sound like one of the greatest songs Elvis Costello never wrote. Fans of Wilco and the Old 97s at their peak would be smart to check out how effortlessly the Hearts have transplanted a heart full of napalm into their roots music.

The Blank Club


9pm; $8

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