Halfway through 2005, nothing should set off a music fan's cred alert quicker than a band whose sound falls almost exactly between those of the White Stripes and the Strokes. Cincinnati's Heartless Bastards fit that description -- and yet such simple comparisons come nowhere close to doing justice to the trio's warm, deep and unshakably catchy rock and roll. Fronted by grit-throated singer-guitarist Erika Wennerstrom, the group crosses the Whites' primordial minimalism with the more sophisticated pop croon of Casablancas and crew. But the Bastards'... More >>>