Music » Critics' Picks

Heartless Bastards

9 p.m. Thursday, January 11. Blueberry Hill's Duck Room (6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City).


Though they make their home on heavy-roots label Fat Possum, the Heartless Bastards follow the same end-run around the blues as PJ Harvey, Patti Smith and, to a lesser extent, their Ohio compatriots the Pretenders. Their overlooked 2006 album, All This Time, churns through chunky Les Paul riffs and some punk tempos for a dark look at the working-class Midwest; the Bastards choose to submerge their hooks and singer/guitarist Erika Wennerstrom's sex appeal in electric squalls and Kevin Vaughn's pile-driver drumming. But when Wennerstrom's lyrics cut through the din, they almost always make her blues ring true: "It's always those little things that eat at your soul," she sings on the closer, "Came a Long Way." "And I'm not going to worry about them no more."

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.