Heartless Bastards - Gates of Dawn

My my, a whole three years have passed since HB's career-defining Arrow. When I reviewed that album, it seemed like a bit of a sea-change, but there's no doubt that record was a shot in the arm for the band and their fortunes.

With new album Restless Ones, there's a sense that relentless touring has honed the band's latter, two-guitar style into something that sounds more natural. Lead single Gates of Dawn beautifully attests to this, combining their bare-knuckle musicality with layers of Mark Nathan's shimmering guitar arpeggios, and a tantalising hint that this album will be lo-fi Americana in widescreen.

Having seen the now four-piece once or twice on the road, I've been consistently in awe of Erika Wennerstrom, whose vocals can silence a crowd, and the sheer fun the band seems to be having. And touring seems to be paying off - 'Only For You' could be heard all over TV over the last two years, most recently in the hit Netflix show Daredevil.

There's no overnight success story in store for this band, whose debut album just turned 10, but it'd be wise to see them before the venues get much bigger. They'll be in Germany for the Grolsch Blues Festival, before returning to the US leg of their tour until early August.

Heartless Bastards