The Aces – When My Heart Felt Volcanic (2018)

Under the baking Californian sun lie The Aces with their baking hot pop songs.

And why are they called The Aces? Because they’re top scoring and excellent at what they do. Moreover, they’re right near the front of your music collection: where they belong.

The Aces make pop music that is resolutely 80s: Micheal Mann pastel colours zipping past neon signs lit up in daytime. But they are no copycats. The bands of the 80s wished they sounded like this. The Aces are merely full-bodied in expression and devout in execution. This is their album: When My Heart Felt Volcanic.

Out of the darkness / I sparked a match that set the fire 

‘Volcanic Love’ erupts (boom-tish) with a huge ringing chime of passion, massive jangles that spray sunshine. Keyboards that rise. The Aces stand for love and heat. You’re burning me up/ tell me that you need it now. From the first, this is chorus after chorus of voices working in harmony, intertwined and swooning. Under the ashes…

‘Stuck’ judders and surges like traffic in a contraflow. Guitar flourishes under the chorus which savours every word. Make your move…

‘Fake Nice’ contrasts a downbeat bass with a punishingly effervescent chorus. Twirling guitars make this feel akin to an anime theme tune. All you do is talk…

The title of ‘Lovin Is Bible’ gets you worried; but this is more classic Aces; thumping beat, huge Vitamin C guitars. Feel the heat when you’re around / Love the way you move when it’s just me and you… 

‘Just Like That’ starts soundtrack hushed; huge, echoing soaring vocals for existential lovers.

‘Last One’, with it’s cheesy vocoder-ish backing vocals over scratchy guitars launches into what could be the best track on the album, with a chorus so huge the band just shouts it in your face. Got me screaming my heart out at night…

‘Holiday’ is a full pitched array and feels assembled from a selection of potential chorus’, only for the band to keep them all and not bother with having any verses. Chorus’ are hotter, after all. The guitar solo before the 3 minute mark is sizzling too, before another hit parade.

‘Bad Love’ sounds like the best party you’ve never been to; with friends hipper and better looking than your real friends. This one is for a TV show montage of the good times before one of the characters croaks. You light me up when we’re alone…

‘Put It On The Line’ continues the Drive pouty moods of ‘Just Like That’, but with less of the old ultra-violence and more Ray Bans. I use to feel the embers burning…

‘Hurricane’ brings piano drama to the pop glory, performing the same role as ABC’s ‘Theme From Mantrap’, underlying the motifs of the album, acting as conclusion and resolution.

The super gloopy bass of ‘Waiting For You’ almost fools you into thinking that The Aces have melted under their own heat; like the sunburnt scorpion that stings itself to death. You’re thinking they’re sinking into the melting tarmac until… all the vocals usher in one final gasps of freedom and several more lustrous explosions occur.

The guitars in their own pure way, are as diamond hard as Verlaine’s and Lloyd’s, as chiming as Marr’s. For once, the bass is sufficiently loud in the mix and the drums accentuate without overpowering.

The Aces are so bright of colour and so over-exposed that some may find them difficult to gaze on them. But for those that can a myriad world of delights awaits.

When My Heart Felt Volcanic will melt you in every way.

When My Heart Felt Volcanic can be bought right here

If you like The Aces, (which you should!) then why not try Jennie Vee?

“New York based elfin guitarist Jennie Vee is a purveyor of intensely catchy songs occupying a zone between post punk, shoegaze and the good old fashioned pop tune. Die Alone, her debut EP, sees her unveil a set of song full of sharp guitars and huge melodies. Her closest comparison is probably to The Raveonettes’ Jesus & Mary Chain + girl group mash up…” Read on!

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