March 7, 2013

CD Review: Rock 'n' roll heart is in the right place

Every song on 'Brought it On' is its own walk down the metal path.


Take it from someone who knows: The new CD from Portland's Heart Shaped Rock, "Brought it On," is authentically metal -- the '80s kind.

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Based on a four-star scale

Being raised and bred on some of this music by simply being a product of the 1980s, it kind of becomes a hard-wired neurological phenomena, installed and uploaded by the hard-working minions of rock 'n' roll.

The very first sounds on the album emulate a heartbeat that starts out slowly, then speeds up and turns out a frenetic spacey synth sound, building up to an explosion and then -- what we were all waiting for -- some glorious chunky and melodic guitar.

In this way, the first track introduces us to what this band does best: Slay the listeners with the electric, seduce them with the vocal, and hypnotize them with the attack and assault in rhythm. All of this encompasses some serious "heart" in Heart Shaped Rock.

Every song is its own walk down the metal path, with so many great guitar riffs they never run out of creativity, and the guitar solos are spot-on. While the songs are all born of the same vein, they never get boring. Each member works to make every song its own individual personality.

HSR is comprised of Pete Giordano (guitar and backing vocals), Sheridan Giordano (vocals), Tom Hall (guitar and backing vocals), Pete Chaisson, (bass) and Sonny Robinson (drums). The fact that two members, Giordano and Robinson, are also members of the veteran local band Twisted Roots gives HSR a foundation of sorts.

The band's spirit shines as the members lend each other space in their own ways, from the songwriting to the guitar work, from the rhythmic work of Chaisson to the vocal stylings of Sheridan and the monster drums of Robinson.

Altogether, they have figured out how to carve out a niche in this music scene and have a blast doing it -- while at the same time also spreading some love in rock.

Kristin DiCara-McClellan is a freelance writer.


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