Debut from The Cold Blooded Hearts takes several detours from the hard road.
Release Date: 21st July 2023
Label: Cherry Red Records
Format: CD / vinyl / download / streaming
Formed in 2015, The Cold Blooded Hearts are a classic rock-influenced rock ‘n roll band fronted by QPR’s former player and current manager Gareth Ainsworth accompanied by guitarist and songwriter Lee Van Sergeant, drummer Luke ‘Chalky’ Sergeant and bass guitarist Ron Campbell.
Lee and Gareth have form, having played music together for some time. Initially as the wonderfully named Dog Chewed The Handle (after a Terrorvision song) back in 2004, with Luke joining on drums a couple of years later and making their name as an energetic live act with a huge sound.
The evolution into The Cold Blooded Hearts sees the debut album The Cold Light Of Day hitting the streets and an album that encapsulates their many years of writing music together. The album was produced by legendary keyboardist and member of Yes, Geoff Downes who has also produced for Mike Oldfield, Greg Lake and Thompson Twins.
A set that skirts around the edge of styles and genres kicks off with what could be the signature of a bluesy groove on High. A suitably earworm of “I’ve been too high too long” fits the bill in the chorus alongside a wailer of a guitar break and you know the guys have got their fingers on the pulse. She Ain’t In Love With Me sounds like it should have a similar soundtrack – and it does. The age old blues theme mourning the loss of a woman, given a Mott riff before settling into a Hammond fuelled riff.
The Country Rock – could even be country rawk – path is taken for Hollow and provides the template for album closer Conspiracy Of Silence takes the soulful but stark arrangement of an acoustic road out of town. The former might have borrowed straight from Springsteen with the hanging textures and piano opening that leads into a grander, power chord driven build.
The cards continue to be played with Eastern Sunrise taking a nice little funky direction. Jagger himself would be right at home twisting his body around this one in one of his rubbery jives. On the other hand, the beat driven Worth Waiting bleeds a new wave urgency. I’m getting a hint of Cheap Trick in both words and music. Tempos are given a further gentle nudge and repeated on the garage punk on Tell Me! whilst Cold Road has us checking the credits to see if the Hearst have drafted in Neil Diamond for some guest vocals.
For an encore, the Hearts go to town on Broken Sky. A simple beat and languid, rolling gait leads into the repeated refrain of “Heaven doesn’t want me, The Devil’s put aside a space for me,” rolls on relentlessly and burns its way into the brain at the close of the murder ballad confessional while some bluesy gospel wailing picks up the vibe. Totally rousing and exhilarating stuff