This is one of those bands that make boys and girls fall in love (with each other and with their music, of course). The Naked Hearts are a not-entirely-bass-less rock duo (live, the bass exists as if by magic even if nobody is playing it, as we have personally witnessed!) which offer some extremely well crafted, melancholic, guitar indie-pop.
Amy Cooper (guitar and vocals) and Noah Wheeler (drums and vocals) are obvious musical soul mates - their voices perfectly complement each other, their songwriting is well integrated, and their performances are flawlessly tight. The simplicity of their guitar pop formula and the clean rock production may be reminiscent of The Strokes, but the main ingredients of their music (songwriting and overall mood in particular) make this debut a completely different beast.
"Mass Hysteria" exists in a musical limbo floating between Belly's hyper-melancholic psych pop ("Way I See You", "Dark Shade"), the more straightforward and up-beat guitar pop of Juliana Hatfield and PJ Harvey circa 1992 ("Boyfriend"), and the obvious Nirvana influences ("Call Me", "Mass Hysteria").
Of course, The Naked Hearts don't have the angst that characterized all grunge bands - but it's their generation that seems to lack that trait. Almost surprisingly, instead, the band uses that genre's musical signature and fills it with some sort of innocence that instills a refreshing quality. Maybe this is the way the unavoidable, almost due by now grunge revival will sneak back to our ears? The record has at least two singles with noteworthy potential: "Like I Do" and "Mass Hysteria" - true pop gems that build up and open up with harmonized choruses exactly the way we like it - this is stuff that could also work on the dance floor. Is there anything better than dancing intensely to an emotional rocking song, after all?
Don't miss their free live show at 3rd ward on May 22.