Sometimes the best albums are ones that come to you from out of nowhere. You see a band name listed somewhere and think “cool name” so you pop on over to Spotify to investigate… you hear a song from a movie/tv show, so you reach for your mobile device and Shazam it… a music snob on your Facebook shares a video of an obscure band, so you reluctantly click on the video. However you find new music, it’s important that you do.
The Honest Heart Collective from Thunder Bay, Ontario released their sophomore record Grief Rights this past summer. You probably don’t know that, because you probably don’t know who The Honest Heart Collective are.
For those of you who do know them, you’ve discovered one of the best new bands you’re ever likely to come across. Kudos to you. Go forth and spread the word.
THHC are a rock band, plain and simple. There aren’t gimmicks, there isn’t a zany marketing scheme, there are no (not so indie) radio stations shoving them down your throat (we get it…you like Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs), there isn’t a label actively plugging them – even though there definitely should be.
Grief Rights (the band’s second album) opens with the hard hitting “North American Dream” a love letter to the working man,where scraping by and hoping for something better down the road are a way of life.
It’s fitting that the second and third tracks “I’ve Got You” and “Separate Ways” might be one of the best one-two punches to appear on a record since Gaslight Anthem’s “Great Expectations & 59’ Sound”, because it’s evident that the THHC have studied at the altar of Springsteen and his prophet, Brian Fallon. Two artists that live to tell stories of heartbreak, hard work, and hope. That blue collar way of life comes through again in the hauntingly beautiful “Debts” and the ripping “Strike Sound”. “Eleanor”, the album’s most raw sounding track, production-wise feels like the most personal song on the record; it’s about an unfavourable cancer diagnosis and the reality that time is short. The choice to record this song a little more rough is a great move as it’s sure to linger in your mind long after listening.
If you’re anything like me, you’re not easily impressed with a record from beginning to end anymore. Maybe it’s a sign of the times and the state of the current music industry that all anyone wants is the big single and a bunch filler to pad the record – disposable music. Grief Rights is anything but filler… it is a record. It’s a piece of work that should be listened to from beginning to end, and then over again. The hard work these guys put in pays off in spades on Grief Rights.
I haven’t even touched on the live performance of the band, which you’ll really want to experience for yourself. There’s nothing quite like watching a band that knows who they are. THHC know who they are – they have mastery over their instruments, and are genuinely enjoying themselves and are a full-steam-ahead train of energy. Rock and roll needs more bands like The Honest Heart Collective. Hopefully more and more audiences find this gem and give it the attention it so greatly deserves.