It is far too easy to conclude a review of Heart Attack Man’s new album Fake Blood as the great album Weezer has been trying to write for more than a decade. So let’s get that out of the way, if Weezer had written Fake Blood, we have said that Rivers had finally found his mojo again and that we’ve finally found a worthy successor to the Blue Album or Pinkerton. But the truth is, Fake Blood is much more than a good album Rivers has been trying to write for so long. Fake Blood is 95% Heart Attack Man, an album that yes, may have found some influences from Weezer, but it’s got traces of Piebald too, and a little bit of early Say Anything and if you dig deep, takes power pop cues from bands like Ridel High. Fake Blood is brimming to the edges with attitude, spitfire spite, and a blast of humor and intelligence that make it a really irresistible listen.
The brainchild of guitarist and vocalist Eric Egan, Heart Attack Man is at its core, an alternative rock band that doesn’t shy away from guitar-fuzzed anger. Songs like the brilliant title track and the Blue Album sounding “Out for Blood” are but a small sampling of Egan’s sometimes brutally sharp and biting songwriting. In the mid-tempo “Rats In A Bucket”, Egan sings “I won’t entertain your bullshit / or give you the time of day” before slicing to the core of searing vengefulness; “cross your name of my hitlist / put you out of your misery and out of my head”, soundtracked to crashing percussions and power chords.
It isn’t all musical bravado either, in “Moths in a Lampshade”, Heart Attack Man cut a Jimmy Eat World-esque picture of more serene soundscapes. Its vocals are soundtracked by light instrumental twinkling and is the shade away from the burning guitar-heavy sounds of the majority of Fake Blood. “Low Hanging Fruit” takes on grunge’s distorted veneer with ample success- a throwback to a Seattle sound that once dominated commercial radio. But the one thing that you constantly come back to is Egan’s vocal fury that makes songs like “Crisis Actor” even more venomous than the music already suggests, yet is coiled with this melodic, comforting haze. The opening seconds of “Asking For It” paints darker, heavier tones, but as soon as the harmonies kick in, it’s a whole different picture. In mere seconds, Heart Attack Man traverse the musical spectrum with quite effective and dizzying results.
This dizzying, non-conformist composition of the music is just so damn alluring. With every listen you’ll pick up something new, something different, something that’ll invigorate your senses, piss you off, energize, and pulverize. Made the more endearing because it’s guitar music- rock music with an unnerving sense of attitude and bravado seemingly lost in today’s safe spaces. Yeah, that other band we talked about has sucked for years, but Heart Attack Man makes it all completely forgettable. Fake Blood is one of the year’s most compelling rock records. Make sure you’re listening.