The Hartes - Demos

Ross Drummond 01/04/2007

Rating: 4/5

Two-piece bands are a bit of an oddity - sometimes they are phenomenal and ground-breaking. (see The White Stripes and Two Gallants) Sometimes they haven't quite got it off the mark, and trawl through a dirge of garage rock fuzz and drums (See most two-piece bands post White Blood Cells era)
The Hartes don't try to bring anything new or original to the plate, with their website pro-claiming their firmly-placed punk and the blues roots. It's refreshing for a band to not be ashamed of its background especially when they are as obvious as these.

Their Demo opens with 'It Will Come To You,' with its repeating dirty blues riff from vocalist Neal and crashing drums courtesy of the Serbian Pavle. It's a strong opener and the high-light of the demo. Up next is 'Love Is All' with its slide guitar and screaming chorus of “Your love is all that i knew before/but it won't be no more” It's another slice of blues and must be the reason they are at the top twenty for the Camden Crawl Indie Idle spot.

It's hard to not draw comparisons to The White Stripes with two-piece bands, but The Hartes aren't trying to hide it by citing influences such as Son House and Howlin' Wolf (both whom Jack White has covered at different points). However The Hartes venture into the less inspiring cover world with the Screamin' Jay Hawkins track 'I Put A Spell On You,' which doesn't quite hit the chilling marks of its original. Thankfully their own material is strong and makes up for the blip.

So it's hard to summarize really; they aren't new or original, but they aren't trying to be, the demo shows that they aren't bad songwriters either so if their live show lives up to the website's photos, then you can't go wrong with The Hartes. Who knew Italy would ship over a fine slice of the blues?