The Heartbreaks – “We May Yet Stand A Chance”
The Heartbreaks are a great band and also one which can be considered very British. Perhaps this is due to their coming from a small town like Morecambe, or just from the influences which were obvious on their debut album “Funtimes”. That album certainly generated a lot of interest and some deserved air play due to the quality of the singles that were released. This second release, sees the band continuing to deliver some great potential single releases but also expanding their sound.
Album opener, “Paint The Town Beige”, has up a great Western style beginning. With the line “god forbid this place should have character and charm” it shows the band have lost none of their wit in their observations of small town life. It’s a great, and mental, intro track. “Absolved” crashes in with a great opening which adds some brass and soul. It then moves in to a fantastic pop, indie track which is like Pulp doing a huge west end show number! – quite brilliant and potentially a huge hit single. They keep the Pulp feel up with “Hey Hey Lover”, this may be due to the vocal delivery style and, perhaps, because you know that behind the indie feel, this is just a big pop song.
They then throw a total curve ball with “Robert Jordan” and its almost spanish guitar effect. It moves on to a slower and darker song with a real dramatic feel to it. “Nr Psaran!” keeps the Latin(?!?) feel going in a song which bizarrely appears to have been influenced by a Mexican bandit film! There are a number of slower songs on the album, including “Bittersweet” which is a seductive number that gently carries you along until it reaches a mid song crescendo. Whilst “Rome” is an epic sounding number, which just sweeps and sways along.
“Man Overboard” sees them back on the pop trail, it’s a little less shiny than the earlier songs and has more of a Smiths (but actually smiling) feel to it. On “This Is Not Entertainment” that god damn spanish guitar is back again, but this time they even have the cheek to add Oles and hand claps! On this track, they mix it into a song with a great indie pop chorus. Despite the title, it is actually hugely entertaining. “Dying Swan” ends the album in a relatively sombre mood, with a song which continues the wider and expansive sound of this album.
This is a great album from a really good and unique British band. Whilst their first album was very much focused on the feel of their home town Morecambe, this time they appear to have just come back from their first holiday abroad. A holiday which has seen some quite extraordinary sounds and memories. Like great bands such as Pulp and The Smiths, what they have done is produced an album which has some great pop melodies and some potentially big hit singles. The Heartbreaks not only deliver some great songs, but there is also a sense of freshness and British fun about them, which makes this album really endearing and enjoyable.