It's pretty hard to write an album that focuses on a single theme, but Heartless Bastards' sixth LP – A Beautiful Life - is all about one thing: protest music. Frontwoman Erika Wennerstrom uses her liquid, open-veined vocals to deliver scathing indictments of late-stage capitalism on "Revolution," the opening track of Heartless Bastards' new record.
The song opens with a simple riff and a few lines of lyrics that spout the tired phrase: “The revolution is in your mind.” But then it kicks into gear, and the chorus reaches a jangly, crunchy, almost psychedelic peak. This is the kind of music that can make a crowd shiver, but it's also a lot of fun to sing along to.
'Revolution' is the first track on A Beautiful Life, and it serves as the band's rallying cry, with lyrics like: “Big brother’s watching you and trying to sell you something new.” This is the sort of anti-capitalist message that has become the norm in this age of fake news and social media questionnaires, and Heartless Bastards are able to deliver the kind of music that makes it feel a little bit better to be a part of the revolution.
A Beautiful Life could have easily been a solo record for guitarist/vocalist Erika Wennerstrom, and it proves that she can craft songs with a hefty dose of soul while remaining in fine form as a rock star. The album may not be as lyrically deep as it should have been, but its guitar-driven melodies and Wennerstrom's sultry vocals are still quite impressive, and the whole package is more than worth a listen.