Primitive Hearts

High & Tight

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    8
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Primitive Hearts are a rock & roll trio from Oakland who do things the old-fashioned way. They don't mess around with technology or tricky chord changes; they stick to the tried-and-true basics on their debut album, High & Tight, and it works perfectly. Inspired by the greasy rock & roll of the '50s, the snappy bubblegum of the '60s, and the snotty punk of the '70s, their tightly wound bass-drums-guitar attack is like a punch to the gut, the sneering vocals are like street-corner putdowns, and the songs will stick with you like a bad reputation. They balance the attitude of punk with the catchiness of bubblegum on high-energy rockers like "Must Be Nice" and the title track, add some high-octane doo wop heartbreak on a few songs like the should-be-a-hit-single "Falling Apart," sweeten things up a little at times, and generally sound like they are having a total blast. That sense of joy is easily transmitted through the speakers and will warm the heart and move the feet of anyone who loves music that lifts the best parts of the past, scuffs them up, and recycles them into something bright and shiny. Primitive Hearts may not get the press that some of their contemporaries like Hunx or Nobunny get, possibly because of that no-nonsense attitude, but the music they are making is just as good, and High & Tight should launch the trio into the upper reaches of the garage punk rock & roll elite.

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