Hearts & Hand Grenades
Where I Begin
Label: Eclipse Records
Out: January 26th, 2024
Playing time: 35:54

After the first two albums by Hearts & Hand Grenades were released within 2021 (“Turning To Ashes” in January and “Between The Lines” in November), it took a few years until the third “Where I Begin”. In January 2024, it is now time for the long-awaited follow-up from the band from Buffalo (NY). The consistency of the line-up is certainly impressive. The only thing the men around singing bassist Stephanie Wlosinski had to look for a new member was the spot behind the drums. However, Cory Michalski contributed his part from afar, as he lives in Arizona. The album was also mixed and mastered there.

This is how Hearts & Hand Grenades are known. The opener “Burn (By My Fire)” contains the band’s trademarks, heavy riffs and the powerful voice of frontwoman and bassist Stephanie Wlosinski. And her comrades-in-arms Mike Bress and Kenny Blesy shine with many beautiful guitar melodies. A rhythmic start. This is followed by the title track “Where I Begin”. It also moves in the mid-tempo range. Drummer Cory Michalski maltreats his instrument. And Stephanie alternates between quiet and loud. Sometimes she even screams into her microphone. Once again, a guitar solo is the crowning glory. Powerful riffs dominate “Boom”. Hearts & Hand Grenades up the tempo once again on “Silver”. And the singer keeps up the pace. “Let Me Down” starts with acoustic guitars. Stephanie’s vocals are much calmer. A magnificent power ballad. “Way Down Low” then offers a little more tempo again. The drums drive forward, but so does the singer with her sometimes hectic vocals. “Better Off Alone” is probably made for airplay, catchy melodies, the vocals accompanied by melodic seeming riffs. But still not mainstream. “I Just Want My Rock” is the song I like least on this album. Although Stephanie screams her heart out in places. But the Rapp passages are not my cup of tea at all. Even if this contrast is certainly intentional, the band can’t score points with me with it, not even with the insane guitar solo, which is then pulled down again by funky guitar sounds. “Anywhere But Here” makes up for it again. It’s very melodic here, driven by fast riffs. In “Over Again”, Stephanie starts with an oppressive bass line before the rhythm section strikes again. The vocals then become a little quieter in places.

Apart from “I Just Want My Rock”, which in my opinion is a slip-up, Hearts & Hand Grenades have delivered a very good album. They have matured considerably musically but have lost none of the carefree attitude of their predecessors. The Americans have also clearly improved in terms of songwriting. I have left the aforementioned song out of my rating.

Hearts & Hand Grenades – Burn (By My Fire): https://youtu.be/FWHXd4TuSIQ?si=7oEc4UkW1ESqs3Bb


Stephanie Wlosinski – Lead Vocals, Bass
Mike Bress – Guitar, Keyboard
Kenny Blesy -Lead Guitar
Cory Michalski – Drums

Track list:

  • Burn (By My Fire) 
  • Where I Begin
  • Boom 
  • Silver
  • Let Me Down
  • Way Down Low
  • Better Off Alone
  • I Just Want My Rock
  • Anywhere But Here
  • Over Again
  • Album - 9/10
  • Cover Art - 8/10
  • Songwriting - 9/10


Disturbingly Good


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