Wzt Hearts, Heat Chief (Hoss/Hit Dat) LP/CD

This review appears in Swingset #8 which is laying around at your local music retailer right now, probably.

Wzt Hearts (pronounced “wet hearts”) are an electro-acoustic four piece from Baltimore who traffic in textures and sounds somewhere between the best parts of the Mego laptop scene of the late 1990s and today’s post-post-hardcore noise purveyors such as Black Dice or Wolf Eyes. They differ from the latter two by insisting on mainly electronic noise with little intrusion from acoustic instruments — with the exception of a furiously pounded drum kit and some so-processed-you-can’t-recognize-they’re-human vocals.

Heat Chief, Wzt Hearts’ fantastic debut, begins with a frenzied sixteen-minute assault that lays the groundwork for the rest of the album: electronics that shift from harsh and beautiful over an anchor of free drumming. In the second piece, the frenzy melts into serene squites processed to sound both huge and strangely intimate, only to end abruptly at the end of the side. The second side of the album (beginning with track three if you’re listening on CD) takes an entirely different tack from the first: it builds on abstractions given room to breathe into a slow burn, then finishes as the third piece, a roaring crescendo of electronics and drums, transitions into a short and sweet, nearly four-minute movement of voice and electronics.

Update: Wzt Hearts have finished their second album, entitled Threads Rope Spell Making Your Bones, and will be releasing it on Carpark and Hoss (on CD and LP, respectively) this September.

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