Album Review: Haunted Hearts – Initiation

Score: 9/10

Haunted Hearts gives us the 2014 album we’ve been waiting for

Published by JB on May 26, 2014
Release date: May 27, 2014

Dee Dee Penny, 2014.

With all due respect to the very fine catalog built by Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles and Dee Dee Penny of Dum Dum Girls, this 8-track, 30-minute album is blistering good, and probably the best of the bunch from either artist.   It’s the first album of 2014 that I actually wish were longer; as it never sounds boring, it never lags and it’s as energetic as it is eclectic.   Blending sunny dream-pop, fuzz guitar, a touch of punk and 60’s Lo-Fi what you end up with is the best sun-dripped album of it’s type since Best Coast’s 2012 vastly underrated The Only Place.  Where The Only Place ran too long, Initiation knocks on the door, steals your belongings and leaves you for dead in a mere half hour of pure, blazing energy.  Imitations is a pocket rocket, even surpassing the excellent Too True (the Dum Dum Girls 2014 release a mere five months ago).  The album aims more towards the sunny pop 2013 release from the Crocodiles, Crimes of Passion.   Quite simply, both styles are blended marvelously here.   While Too True includes some sublime tracks even it doesn’t blister up the turntable like Initiation.   Enough of the worthless comparisons though as Haunted Hearts is now its own juggernaut.


Brandon Welchez

The album opens up loudly with the most rock-based jam of the bunch, ‘Initiate Me‘, followed by the best track on the album – the fuzzed out, melodic and dare we say, damn beautiful ‘Up is Up but So is Down‘.  It’s the best five minutes of the album which says a lot for an album that never slows down.  Following that pop thread is the smooth, shoe-gazing ‘Johnny Jupiter’ (the first single).   ‘House of Lords’ picks up where ‘Initiate Me’ leaves off, providing a perfect counterbalance after the pop tracks before it.  The final chapter of the album includes the dreamy, mid-tempo ‘Love Incognito’ – sung solo by Penny.  The sublime album closer, ‘Bring Me Down‘ glides out perfectly as Welchez and Penny combine for a final, beautiful closer.

The top 10 albums of 2014 just got an unexpected entry. Haunted Hearts accomplish more in 30 minutes than most bands do in a half of a decade.


See the videos for ‘Johnny Jupiter’ and ‘Up is Up but So is Down’

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