For gritty, up-tempo garage rock, you won’t find much better than the Pierced Arrows’ debut, Straight to the Heart. With each track I grew more enthusiastic about this record, thinking to myself that they were bringing together the best aspects of the electrified, punk rock version of Neil Young that surfaces every few years. This point was driven home by a rollicking version of the Young-penned Buffalo Springfield track, “Mr. Soul.” A bold move, for certain, and the band pulls it off here with aplomb.
Pierced Arrows hails from Portland, Ore. Two-thirds of their lineup—bassist/vocalist Toody Cole and guitarist/vocalist Fred Cole—were members of the late band Dead Moon, a DIY-or-die rock outfit that toured all over the world for nigh on 15 years before calling it a day. From those ashes rises Pierced Arrows, with new drummer Kelly Halliburton (who earned his stripes playing bass with hardcore bands Detestation, Resist, Defiance and Severed Head of State). These folks are lifers, and it shows in their music with their three-minute bursts of rock fury completed by melody and hooks that never cease to snarl. If you’re looking for a band to show you what rock ’n’ roll is all about, this is it.
Pierced Arrows play Total Fest Saturday, Aug. 16, at 8 PM at the Badlander.