Heartless Bastards Record Review

Restless Ones (Partisan)

Heartless Bastards Record Review

Restless Ones continues the Heartless Bastards' quest never to repeat themselves. Arrow in 2012 expanded the Austinites' reach and reputation with rock hard grooves, departing from introspective nature and country influences on 2009's The Mountain. The psychedelic blues overload of Restless Ones opener "Wind Up Bird" immediately sets the band's fifth LP on a new path. Readily apparent is the fact that frontwoman Erika Wennerstrom's songwriting has reached another peak. Nodding to the vinyl version, the disc breaks into two halves. Defiance and glam hooks line "Black Cloud" early on, but the five songs of Side B find the Heartless Bastards at their most incisive. There's the bracing "Into the Light," on which Wennerstrom brings to mind another Ohio native, Chrissie Hynde. The breezy guitars and pleading nature of "The Fool" firmly juxtapose the heaviness echoed all over "Eastern Wind." Ending with the breathing pulse of closer "Tristessa," its title taken from a Jack Kerouac novella, haunts appropriately restless. The combination of Wennerstrom's singular vocal style and the Bastards' multilayered guitars remains both lyrically commanding and musically transcendent.


  • More of the Story

  • Restless One

    Heartless Bastards oracle Erika Wennerstrom confronts the moment

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Heartless Bastards
SXSW Thursday Interview
SXSW Thursday Spotlight Interview
How do you mend a broken heart? Kick ass.

March 16, 2012

Texas Platters
Heartless Bastards
Arrow (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Feb. 17, 2012

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017


Heartless Bastards

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle