The Kamikaze Hearts

The Kamikaze Hearts

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The Kamikaze Hearts' self-titled debut offers only a brief glimpse of the band's lo-fi country consommé, but it's a promising one, with plenty of plaintive hooks and an unassuming "aw, this old thing?" demeanor. Clarified country heartbreak does grit up the tunes, but this album is actually just lo-fi indie with a college degree. Highlights include the kitchen table Jayhawks of "Five Point Turn" and the yearning harmonies of "Grand Tactics," which light up like the faces around a campfire. Kamikaze Hearts has grandeur and melody to spare, but its feel is more akin to Scud Mountain Boys' Pine Box or the early home recording efforts of Sebadoh. The mandolin, prominent throughout the album, sounds like it was employed only after its discovery in an ancient attic steamer trunk. The drums are sixth-hand estate sale specials. That's not silver sparkle finish -- it's duct tape. In theory, the guitar is in tune; it usually sounds as drunk on Thunderbird wine as the Kamikaze Hearts' two vocalists do.

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