Hearts & Hand Grenades – Turning To Ashes

Hearts & Hand Grenades
Turning To Ashes
Eclipse Records
January 8, 2021

Hearts & Hand Grenades is an explosive American hard rock group from Buffalo, NY fronted by Stephanie Wlosinski on lead vocals and bass guitar. This band is literally exploding with an edgy sound for all generations of true rock addicts!

Label promoters are obviously never at a loss for pithy sayings. Like many other bands, Hearts & Hand Grenades were founded as a cover band. That was in 2012. The two founding members Mike Bress and Stephanie Wlosinski are still with us today. But guitarist Kenny Blesy and drummer Tom Lafferty have also been there from the start. First live appearances followed and the band became one of the leading cover bands in the US state of New York. After an appearance as support for the Goo Goo Dolls (March 2019) they invited their bassist and singer Robby Takac to recordings in his GCR studios. This is how the debut EP “Wait” came about, which was released in July. So it was almost logical that the musicians recorded their debut album shortly afterwards in the same studio, with eight songs of their own. This will now be released by Eclipse Records in January 2021.

Another band with a woman at the microphone – yawn. Some might think so. But it is precisely this woman that makes the difference. Already on “Turning To Ashes” singer Stephanie Wlosinski proves what kind of shouter she is. With the help of her three boys, she’s got a classic rock song out of here. But she doesn’t just cut a good figure when it comes to singing. Her bass lines keep the subwoofer working. What is then celebrated on the guitar, is also worthy of all honor. Then “For The Weakened” tramples everything over the top. The singer puts even more heaviness into the now scratchy sounding voice. In between, a somewhat quieter passage is inserted. With “Daggers” there is also a slightly punk attitude. The (semi) ballad “I Hide” provides the necessary breathing space for musicians and listeners. A not cheesy ballad, but with cracking riffs and a snotty sounding voice. “Adrenaline” sounds very rhythmic only towards the end, the title lives up to its name and increases into a fast intermediate sprint and later an even faster final sprint. A real rush of adrenaline! Between all these harsh chants and rhythmic guitar, bass and drums playing, beautiful melodies can be heard over and over again, as the quartet also proves with “Nothing Left”. With “The In Crowd” you feel like you are in a seedy and smoky back room. This is how one imagines not entirely legal poker rounds. And the song sounds just as wicked. But then the singer lets all her pent-up energy rage and the tatters fly. Or are these the glasses and bottles on the table? “My Sickness” is the regular closing song on the album. Stephanie lets her rough voice sound again. The last song “Nothing Left” is obviously a bonus track. But I can’t see any added value in this recapitulation, it sounds exactly like it did shortly before.

With their debut “Turning To Ashes” Hearts & Hand Grenades bring a breath of fresh air into the rock landscape. Loud, boisterous and entertaining. Yes, the sound is explosive and edgy. However, there is a little lack of variety in the song writing. Extremely positive exceptions are “I Hide” and “The In Crowd”. But there is still room for improvement. However, that shouldn’t be a problem for such good musicians.

Hearts & Hand Grenades – The In Crowd: https://youtu.be/TXcNCRDWQAA


Stephanie Wlosinski – Bass, Lead Vocals
Mike Bress – Rhythm Guitar, Keys
Kenny Blesy – Lead Guitar
Tom Lafferty – Drums

Track list:

  • Turning To Ashes
  • For The Weakened
  • Daggers
  • I Hide
  • Adrenaline
  • Nothing Left
  • The In Crowd
  • My Sickness
  • Nothing Left (clean edit)
  • 8/10
    Album - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Cover Art - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Songwriting - 7/10