The Exploding Hearts: Guitar Romantic (Expanded and Remastered) (Third Man) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, September 28th, 2023  

The Exploding Hearts

Guitar Romantic (Expanded and Remastered)

Third Man

Jun 08, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Back in 2002, Portland, OR’s The Exploding Hearts recorded and released their only album for the small, then Portland-based indie punk label Dirtnap (and in Europe via the Screaming Apple imprint). Sadly, while most of the members did not live to see it happen when three of them died in a car crash only three months after its release, it became a cult sensation beloved by both punks and many indie rockers as well and has continued to entrance anyone first encountering it.

A dynamic, timeless mix of power pop, ’77 punk, and garage rock (with the production favoring the lo-fi aesthetics of the latter genre), they managed to tie all of these related genres together to make an absolute classic that still sounds as great today as it did 20 years ago. In short, it’s one of the best rock and roll albums of its era and can go toe to toe with any of their influences (ranging from power pop luminaries Nick Lowe and The Only Ones to bands like The Rezillos and The Undertones alongside a healthy amount of ’50s rock and roll and glam as well).

This new version features a brand new remaster and three bonus tracks on both the physical and digital versions. Of the new tracks, the now sadly late “King” Louie Bankston’s mix of “I’m a Pretender” (a song he co-wrote alongside several other classics) is featured alongside a new mix of “Busy Signals” (the B-side of the “Modern Kicks” single and also featured on the posthumous Shattered compilation) and another Shattered track entitled “So Bored.” (

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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