Keeping it simple is a mantra for living your life, but few musicians actively apply it to their work. Whether this graduating class of rock bands exploit some excessive production, overwrought vocals, or gratuitous guitar work, none of that can replace a direct melody, well-placed hooks, and a solid set of pipes. Earth Heart are surely going against recent convention, sporting all of these fundamentals throughout their self-released debut.
Let’s not neglect dogged work ethic as well, with this Boston trio steadily releasing singles since their 2013 inception. The complete result is Homesick, a stripped down yet gripping album of flinty insurgency and sentiment. Their self-titled opener is the optimal attention grabber, featuring a kicking rhythm, locked-in riff, and a set of lyrics that are meant to be screamed back by an enraptured audience. The aforementioned pipes belong to Katie Coriander, the latest in a storied group of vocalists that bring the power while never losing the tune. “Burn” does exactly what the title states, firing off guitar stabs along with Coriander’s impassioned wail in a dual-fisted aural mauling. Earth Heart goes angular on “Demons”, carried on the back of a passionate chant: “I woke up, I woke up”. The phrasing is resolute. They are here to stay.
Homesick does not stop giving in its latter half, but exposes some new facets to their vibrant sound. The Americana-hued “Fire Song” rattles with bar band moxy with Coriander’s ardent rasp hitting all of the right spots. They toy with alt-rock chords on quickie “Providence” and goes ripped and ragged for the closer “Chicken & Rice”. The culmination of experiences that Earth Heart reveals from end to end is of a band who has taken their time and paid their dues. Homesick is the final brick in that solid foundation, the only way for them to go now is upward.