Some people may remember Young Heart Attack as a firebrand sextet from Austin, Texas, who briefly electrified the UK with a series of tours between 2003 and 2005, before vanishing off the face of the earth. Well, those who knew them will rejoice in knowing that the band - sporting new faces - have resurfaced with an album that shows they have matured while still clinging onto their destructive nature.
"Rock and Awe" is pure Texan rock 'n' roll and by the end of the song you may find yourself reeking of sweat and beer. The pace is maintained on "Hell on Earth", but the album takes an unexpected turn on the strangely-titled "Munki". A mid-paced rocker led by the captivating voice of Jen Stephens insisting "I'm gonna knock you walls down!" Suddenly, the band sound much more commercially workable, but achieve this without sounding like an entirely different band.
"Vacant Love" confirms the chemistry between Chris Hodge and Ms Stephens, with some delightful vocal tradings, though the line "I wanna spin you like a merry-go-round" will embarrass even the most zombified headbanger. This track and the hugely enjoyable "Jackboot Goons" benefit from a smooth drumming cameo from Clem Burke of Blondie.
Jen's vocals are used liberally on this album as opposed to 2003's "Mouthful of Love", and the album benefits as a result. Her vocals provide a tasteful feminine foil to Hodge's macho howls. Envision AC/DC joined by a white soul singer. The album peters out towards the end, the energy that abounded in the opening tracks clearly spent. "Good Love" is a rather lacklustre affair that doesn't serve as a great close to the album.
Young Heart Attack have found a sound that allows them to close the gap on the mainstream while still staying true to their hard rock beginnings. This band boasts heaps of talent and this album may well be a stepping stone to a bigger stage.