First Listen: Pierced Arrows Debut LP


You know life is good when you recieve an envelope in the mail with a return address of "Clackamas, Oregon"

Fred and Toody Cole just sent me the debut long-player of their post-Dead Moon group, Pierced Arrows. It's called Straight to the Heart and I think it became officially available on March 29, but who the hell knows...they might've even had it (or the 12" vinyl version) for sale last time they were in Seattle.

Anyway, Straight to the Heart is just that...13 rock n' roll songs that cut through the bullshit and go right to the heart of what rock n' roll is all about. At first listen, one is inclined to say "Yup, sounds like Fred and Toody doing what they do!" This isn't to say it sounds like Dead Moon Redux...this is to say no one in the world sounds like Fred and Toody Cole and everything they do is guaranteed to rock harder than most everything you've heard in your life. A few tracks, such as "Shades" and "C-U" up the blues and jazz quotient a little. For the most part, though, Straight to the Heart is a sludgy, riff-driven rock album that sounds like early Crazy Horse hiding out in the Oregon woods.

Talking with a few friends about Pierced Arrows, it seems everyone is pumped to see Toody having a bigger presence in the band. She and Fred seem to be harmonizing a lot more and she's bolder and more adventurous with her singing. Her work on the ballad "Up On the Cloud" is like the realization of everything she hinted at being capable of on "I'd Rather Be Your Lover" all those years ago. "Caroline", another of the great Toody-sung songs, is destined to become a classic, and "Black Rainbows" and "In My Brain" are destined to be categorized with "Psychodelic Nightmare", "Black September" and "Fire in the Western World" as favorites among fans of all-things-Cole.

According to their Myspace page, Pierced Arrows will be on the road in Europe for a while, so you'll have to wait a bit before buying this one at a nearby show. But trust me, it'll be worth the wait. Also included on Straight to the Heart is their cover of Neil Young's Buffalo Springfield-era classic "Mr. Soul", a song they've been raging on since the first Pierced Arrows shows.

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