Shimmering Stars, Violent Hearts
“Time keeps moving on without me,” Rory McClure sings on Violent Hearts. That’s especially true of his band’s music — Shimmering Stars’ distinctive sound, born when McClure watched some live Everly Brothers footage, boasts harmonies that would do Phil and Don proud, has enough reverb for the Beach Boys to hang ten on, and an almost-palpable yearning that seems directly descended from Del Shannon. Violent Hearts voices timeless complaints — like being stuck in a town without pity and girls who just don’t understand — as well as more modern problems, like feeling bad for no good reason (which the band sums up beautifully on “Privilege” and “Nervous Breakdown”). But things never feel too miserable, thanks to Shimmering Stars’ way with inescapable hooks and melodies; “I’m Gonna Try,” “I Don’t Wanna Know” and “Walk Away” all pair emotional wipeouts with sweet tunes, sunny harmonies and drums that pound like crashing surf. A remarkably consistent debut album, Violent Hearts‘ innocence and darkness make being thoroughly bummed out sound great.