We May Yet Stand A Chance
Opening with Brothers Grimm-like fairytale shanty Paint The Town Beige, The Heartbreaks kick off sophomore album We May Yet Stand A Chance with insidious playfulness, sounding like a Shakespearean troupe scouring the woods with the scary ones from The Muppets. Such things as nightmares are made on, the intro is a clever little divergence that gives way to the fireworks of Absolved – a Broadway-bound glitterfest of a song that bars all holds from entering its skybound, feathered-up choral boudoir of splendour.
But let’s calm down here. From such vertiginous heights, where do we go from there? Well, how about the Frankie Goes To Hollywood theatrics abounding on string-laced ballad Robert Jordan – a track so nostalgic it remembers itself.
The problem with The Heartbreaks is that it’s difficult to know where this band are coming from – literally. Straight outta the mean streets of Morecombe, you might expect some northern soul and seaside depression, but all seems to be garish and sunburnt, like an excessive INXS holidaying with Culture Club (18-30). Most confusing of all, the gun-toting No Parasan! is like a Mexicano gunfight at the not-OK Corral. “Freeze, hombre!” I think I just have.
Meanwhile, Bittersweet sees singer Matt Whitehouse segue from his slightly Boy George-like vocals into a vague approximation of Jarvis Cocker; the Espanol flavour comes out to flamenco once again in This Is Not Entertainment, which at least promises what it says.
The Heartbreaks, on this offering, may not stand much of a chance.
*This review will appear in the May edition of BrumNotes magazine