Personnel: Cory Smith (vocals); Roc Mauck (guitar); Tom Moran (drums).
Recording information: Very Tight Recording.
Though they proclaim themselves to be original "hardcore warriors," Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Heartless resemble nothing so much as crustcore soldiers in grindcore boots on 2011's Hell Is Other People, which is packed with minute-long semi-song outbursts ("Clean Slate," "Cede," etc., etc.) occasionally interjected with doom-like breakdowns. Heck, at their most long-winded ("Resuscitate/Suffocate," "Deject," "Blinders"), Heartless only manage to stitch together enough ideas to double those average track lengths, so by the time they break the four-minute mark on "Cop Out," oxygen masks better be standing by. Wait, there's more: "Undulations" dribbles rattling bass against piercing guitar feedback in a fair approximation of Southern sludge, "Cast Down" rides a rot & roll groove for all its worth, while "Hard Feelings" seems to coalesce the band's entire philosophy within its troubled, "never surrender" lyrics. After 21 minutes, it's all over but the twitching. Hell Is Other People breaks no ground and brokers no peace, but it slays with brutal efficiency and that's more than enough to keep a few fans happy, others bored but awake. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia