Monday, October 22, 2007

You Left Me Shattered...

Yes, this is an article about the Exploding Hearts. HOWEVER, it is my intent here to avoid all of the clichés generally encountered when discussing them. I'm not going to refer to their tragic accident (the word "tragic" having been tossed around so much that, for me at least, it has lost almost all meaning). I'm not going to mention that of which the world has been deprived in future releases from this excellent group. And I'm definitely not going to talk about the Nice Boys, Terry Six's current band (whoops). Instead, I'm going to talk about a single track (that appears twice) on their final (ugh) release, Shattered. This collection, released in October of 2006 (on Halloween, if I remember correctly), comprises their last, eponymous EP, as well as slightly different takes of various songs from Guitar Romantic, the "pink demo", and all of their previous EPs.

Astute listeners, and, actually, even those who aren't that astute, have probably noticed the similarities between "Shattered (You Left Me)", from the last Exploding Hearts release, and "Gypsy Switch", from King Louie Bankston's long put off "new" album, Memphis Treet. The reason is thus: King Louie wrote the song.

In fact, if you look at the writing credits for The Exploding Heart's sole album, Guitar Romantic, you will see that of its ten perfect tracks, Louie had a hand in writing seven. According to another blog that I came across while writing this post, the song was originally used in one of Louie's previous bands (of which there are many), 10-4 Backdoor. The liner notes for Shattered credit Adam, Jeremy, Louie, Matt and Terry for the creation of this song, assumedly due to their having changed it around a bit. I can't help but wonder what the original original version sounded like.

Though clearly the same song, the different versions are, well, different. The Exploding Hearts rip through the main riff, a hook-filled hunk of honky-tonk, with the same great poppy energy and tone as their previous recordings, but this time with a cowbell! The Louie version, however, has a much more subdued feel, coming across as sad and sincere, helped, surely, by his down-and-out vocals and the dampened organ in the background (the slightly off-pitch soloing and reference to falling "off really hard" probably don't hurt either). Well, enough rambling from me, check them out for yourselves:

Download it here:
The Exploding Hearts - Shattered (You Left Me)

Download it here:
King Louie and the Loose Diamonds - Gypsy Switch

Shattered!, originally to be just an EP featuring "Shattered (You Left Me)" and "We Don't Have to Worry Anymore", was slated for release in 2004. We ended up having to wait until October of 2006 to actually get our hands on it, and this only in the form of the afore-mentioned collection (although there were mp3s of dubious quality floating around the net for years before this, along with the live KBOO Radio set).

The artwork for the never-released Shattered! EP:

P.S. If you're looking to get either Shattered! or Memphis Treet, you can find them for sale on the internet or at a record store. Do your own damn search. All images taken from websites without permission.

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