by Hansel Merchor
Will time be graceful to this band? Will their cult status evolve into something else? Judging by how enjoyable these songs are, we can only hope so. For those not in the know, The Exploding Hearts were a short-lived and very young four-piece power pop/punk band from Portland, OR that crafted little pop ditties with a punk rock edge. Heavily influenced by the sound and look of Ramones, Buzzcocks, and The Undertones, The Exploding Hearts suffered an untimely demise when, in July 2003, a car accident would claim the life of three of their members. Released by Portland’s garage powerhouse, Dirtnap Records, Shattered is the perfect introduction to the Hearts’ music as it compiles all of the band’s singles, including some unreleased versions and alternate mixes. Songs like “Shattered,” “So Bored,” “Sniffin’ Glue,” “Modern Kicks,” and “I’m a Pretender” (arguably one of the finest melodic punk songs of the last 10 years) have the potential to become classics for a new generation of underground garage rockers and also display the blatant talents of these gifted songwriters. Beyond this release, their classic record, Guitar Romantic, remains an absolute must to anyone interested in American rock and roll.