Heartworms: A Comforting Notion EP (Speedy Wunderground) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, March 4th, 2024  


A Comforting Notion EP

Speedy Wunderground

Mar 24, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Heartworms is the project of London-based musician and military aviation history aficionado JoJo Orme, who teamed up with one of her heroes, producer Dan Carey, for her debut EP, A Comforting Notion. Carey was so impressed with Orme’s demos that he not only helped produce the EP but also released it via his Speedy Wunderground label. It’s a perfect match, and the sublime results speak for themselves.

Whilst the EP is influenced by goth-tinged post-punk and reaches back through time to touch fingers with the past, it also injects a new energy and perspective into what might be loosely termed the “post-punk scene.” With Heartworms, Orme has created a dark rumbling musical beast, full of tension, drama, and sinister undercurrents. Dystopia has never quite sounded so thrilling.

Orme can do the imperious icy tones of Siouxsie Sioux or the unhinged jerky post-punk of Julz Sales (Delta 5), but from the gothic darkness and whirling tensions springs something less theatrical and more real. This EP is clearly something in which Orme has put her heart and soul into, and that passion shines through.

Opening with the previous single “Consistent Dedication,” Heartworms fuse pulsating bass lines and spidery metallic guitars that initially recall The Cure meets Bauhaus to summon a sense of slow-burning gothic dread. The track erupts when Orme’s vocals switch from being full of creeping menace to furious derangement. And it works brilliantly.

“Retributions of An Awful Life” is magnificent, a tune that stops you in your tracks—full of swirling agitation, dark poetry, angular guitars, and propulsive rhythms. It’s genuinely exciting and innovative and light years away from the turgid, unimaginative dung heap that mainstream indie music has become. The EP’s title track sways and sashays through the darkness as Orme’s vocal becomes more animated, while the metronomic rhythms of “24 Hours” build steadily and become increasingly urgent. Orme told me recently that it’s a song “about being at secondary [school] and just not fitting in, which I know is very clichéd but I really did struggle with that. The line ‘I wish I had detention to stay away from there’ was about not wanting to go back to school.”

Whatever the inspirations for Orme’s work, there’s certainly nothing clichéd about it. A Comforting Notion is never anything less than mesmeric, it’s a master class in how to utilize your influences and produce something that is uniquely your own. (www.facebook.com/heartwormsband)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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