The Exploding Hearts
Portland, Ore.'s Exploding Hearts were a promising punk quartet who suffered a tragic accident in 2003 when their van flipped over after coming back from a show in San Francisco, killing members Matthew Fitzgerald, Jeremy Gage and Adam Cox. Prior to the tragedy, they seemed poised to be the next big thing. They were that rare and uncommon breed of band whose snobbish indie rock fans would still love them even after they landed a major label deal and toured the world opening for Beck. While leagues of hipsters in skinny ties and white belts were aping the Strokes, the Exploding Hearts were mining inspiration from the quirky hooks of '70s punk and power pop cult legends like the Real Kids, the Toms, the Dictators, the Only Ones, the Penetrators and the Gizmos. Not only did they look like they all could have been the boyfriends of those foxy New Wave models who graced the covers of Rodney Bingenheimer's Rodney On The Roq compilations that came out in the late '70s and early '80s, but they sounded like the golden nuggets found on those comps. Although they were never able to live up to their huge potential, they did leave behind a single album entitled Guitar Romantic. It is awesome with 10 anachronistic songs that will make you want to peg your pants, put on a pair of checkerboard slip-on Vans and head out to the club to meet up with your friends and dance all your heartbreak away. Surviving member Terry Six is carrying on some of the spirit of his former band with the Nice Boys, a new project that includes members of the Riffs.