Heartless Bastards + The Builders and the Butchers + Peter Wolf Crier

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The musical ambitions of Cincinnati's Heartless Bastards remain as grand as ever on the group's third album, The Mountain. The trio paints in broad strokes, with sludgy guitars that seem to forever egg on vocalist Erika Wennerstrom—a blond woman with an enormous roar. She nails both rocker ennui—wearily moaning of hotel rooms, highway signs and empty cans—and a ferocious Zeppelinesque holler that tends to erupt midsong. Her vocals ooze star power, even if few people have yet to experience them.

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