Formed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2003, Heartless Bastards is a garage rock band who has shed their punkish irreverence while keeping that distinctive gritty and sparingly innocent vocal edge.
Heartless Bastards originally formed as a four piece band with members Erika Wennerstrom on vocals, piano and guitar, Dave Colvin on drums, Adam McAllister on bass and Michael Weinel on lead guitar. Frontwoman Wennerstrom is the only permanent member.
After parting ways with Colvin, McAllister and Weinel, Erika reformed the group as a three piece with Kevin Vaughn on drums and Mike Lamping on bass. The band was signed to Fat Possum Records in 2004.
In 2005, the group released their first album Stairs and Elevators. The Village Voice wrote about the album: “deadeye accurate in pitch and message… what we’ve got is a hard, gnarled voice singing simple-seeming melodies that feel archetypal rather than ordinary, which is no easier to explain than it is to do.”
The band’s sophomore release, All This Time, was released on August 8, 2006. The album relies less on guitar riffs and belted vocals and more on musicianship, without leaving behind the group’s unique sound.
In August 2008, a new lineup for the band was announced — Bassist Jesse Ebaugh and original Heartless Bastards drummer Dave Colvin, rejoining frontwoman Erika Wennerstrom.
The band’s third album The Mountain was released February 3, 2009 on Fat Possum Records. For this album the band broadened their sound to include elements of country music, employing violin, banjo, mandolin and steel guitar.
Released on February 14, 2012, the band’s 4th album Arrow (Partisan Records) features the current lineup of Erika Wennerstrom (vocals/guitar), Jesse Ebaugh (bass), Dave Colvin (drums), and Mark Nathan (guitar).
Erika Wennerstrom and Heartless Bastards continue to take their eclectic and energetic sound down new avenues, while holding onto their unique voice.