Album Review: The Aces – ‘When My Heart Felt Volcanic’

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I love seeing girls in rock bands. Perhaps what I love more than seeing a frontwoman or a female bassist onstage is the idea of a band totally composed of rad ladies. Bands like The Go-Go’s and The Bangles made music history, paving the way for young women to express themselves much more powerfully than at a sorority luncheon.  It could be defined as the sisterhood of music – it’s truly a bond, and when all of the pieces come together, magic is made.

The Aces is the new girl band to watch out for, and their debut album When My Heart Felt Volcanic will spark the interest of music listeners everywhere. This record (being released April 6 via Red Bull Records) is perfect to listen to on a road trip with your best friends – The album’s hooks, catchy riffs, and clever lyrics will likely inspire you to hit the gas pedal harder, going faster than ever before.

The record begins with “Volcanic Love,” a track that is both fiery and confessional. Reminiscent of the 80s, it slowly fades in like the beginning of a John Hughes movie. Cristal Ramirez, lead singer of The Aces, holds nothing back and sings “Caught in the moment / We love what can’t be good for us.” This honesty and confidence continues through the rest of the record, and moves on to the album version of “Stuck.”

“Stuck” will be a familiar track to fans who checked out The Aces’ debut EP, I Don’t Like Being Honest, as it was the stand-out single for the band. The mix is fresh, clean, and fits in well with this new collection of songs.

“Fake Nice” and “Lovin’ Is Bible” gave me flashbacks to one of my favorite 80s movies, “Heathers.” The catchy bass line and harmonies in “Fake Nice” made me start seeing multicolored scrunchies and croquet mallets, while “Lovin’ is Bible” reminded me of Christian Slater’s famous line to Winona Ryder (“Our love is God”) after saving her from a disastrous double date. The band isn’t mincing words in these tracks, and these references only add to their girl-power movement.

The band shows their vulnerable side in “Just Like That,” which describes a relationship falling apart. Ramirez sings “You can come get all your t-shirts / ‘Cause I don’t like the way I look in them.” It’s about getting rid of the toxicity that everyone faces in one relationship or another. This vulnerability doesn’t last long, and fades into my favorite song on the album, “Last One.” The track is about writing that last song about the guy you can’t forget; the one who told you he’d give you the world but instead, gave you the heartache and inspiration to write more music. As a singer-songwriter myself, I can relate, and think this is the most epic promise of moving on.

The remaining seven tracks are as catchy and cohesive as the rest. “Strong Enough” features Ramirez’s strong falsetto vocals, while “Holiday” and “Stay” remain true to the 80s with the pulsing synths. “Bad Love” is rebellious – the kind of song to blast when your parents disapprove of the person you’re dating.

These 10 tracks make you feel like you’re speeding through life without a break or a helmet, making the final three songs on the record stand out as some of the strongest. “Put It On the Line” and “Hurricane” are beautifully melancholy, and I was so excited to hear a piano ballad on the record. Light strings fill the quiet spaces of “Hurricane” as the piano and vocals take control.

The 13th and final track of the record is “Waiting for You,” and is soothingly soulful. It ends the collection on a positive note and with the enthusiasm to move forward and break the ice with someone special. It ties the album all together and gives listeners the true sense of who each woman is in The Aces.

We all have our insecurities and doubts in life, but When My Heart Felt Volcanic will help you escape those for a little while. The record feels like a conversation between you and your best friends. Hear The Aces out, take their advice, and find the confidence within yourself to take what you want. Your heart could feel volcanic too.

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Preorder the record here and check out The Aces at the links below.

TAGS: The Aces | Red Bull Records

Twitter: @Rockin_Mags

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