Starting the Hearts
It takes a lot of balls to put the word "hearts" in your band name — especially in these post-emo days, when wearing your emotions on your sleeve makes songwriters walking, whining targets for derision. But Randall Buckland has never had a problem wearing that particular muscle on his sleeve; since fronting the late, underappreciated Endgame, he's perpetuated all the great elements of emo — sincerity, dynamics and songcraft — and ditched the bullshit. Starting the Hearts is Buckland's latest project, and it's a maturation of his evocative approach, even as it stays tethered to a refreshing youthfulness: Drawing from the '90s sound of the Promise Ring and Jawbreaker's Dear You, Starting the Hearts' self-titled, four-song debut is a tuneful, wistful sliver of slow-burning, romantic pop punk. And there's even a bit of '80s-teen-soundtrack flair to the keyboard-heavy "The Fall" (it's not like the '90s invented emotion). Luckily, Starting the Hearts makes it all sound timeless.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.