There is something extraordinary about two-piece bands. The remarkable expressiveness that comes from two individuals can be seen in Donny Donovan (vocals and guitar) and Greg Brunner’s (drums) band, Hearken. The duo’s music style could generally be described as grungy indie punk. They have a colorful blend of heavy angstiness to heartfelt temper throughout their songs. Late June, they released their debut album at Mr. Smalls Theater.
Hearken’s full length debut album, Help Me, I’m Alive, is a wealth of creativity from the duo. It opens up with “Wake Up” which is about the demand of oneself to make a fresh start. The song is a good benchmark from the tone of the rest of the album. “Drugs” is an explosive song with the driving force from Donovan’s guitar. “Butterfly” is a bittersweet slower song that propels into a sensational rush coming from the vocals and drums. “Sure Shock” and “Tired” are the perfect fix for a daily dose of grungy punk rock that you could really enjoy rocking out to. “Bloom” is an ideal heavy punk song infused with it’s chilling guitar intro followed by a dark overtone drum beat and solid guitar. “I Don’t Owe You” has a fun drum rhythm to compliment the catchy repetitive chorus. “Fix Me” dives deep into the darkness of depression and possessing your own thoughts. The struggle and vulnerability can be hear the vocal performance. The album concludes with “Last Time” a powerful raw emotion song about addiction or the struggle to give up something that you need to let go of. You can feel the affection in the lyrics while the gentle guitar riff helps to soothe the conflict. Overall the album is a wonderful creative work by Donovan and Brunner. It really is an album that you should give a listen to. If you’re looking for raw beautiful emotion, Help Me, I’m Alive is your album.
If you like this, you’ll like them: Queens of the Stone Age/ Screaming females/ The Dead Weather / Hole
Editor’s song picks: “Fix Me,” “Drugs,” “Last Time,” & “Tired”