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Not Such Heartless Bastards After All

The heart of the Heartless Bastards is Erika Wennerstrom, who wears hers on her sleeve. Her band's new album, The Mountain, features a new, bold sound.

In "Hold Your Head High," Wennerstrom begins by announcing, "I've made a lot of choices / Most have not been wise." Most rock stars would make these lines boastful or self-pitying. Wennerstrom floods her sentiments with ruefulness and regret, and, still in the space of a mere 11 words, also fills them with a resolve to not be so messed-up in the future. She has a gift for making life's errors into more than cheesy life lessons — they become statements of resolve.

Click on the audio link above to hear the rest of the review.

Copyright 2022 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Ken Tucker reviews rock, country, hip-hop and pop music for Fresh Air. He is a cultural critic who has been the editor-at-large at Entertainment Weekly, and a film critic for New York Magazine. His work has won two National Magazine Awards and two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards. He has written book reviews for The New York Times Book Review and other publications.