The Heartless Bastards

Critic's Pick Release Date: 2009-02-25

The Heartless Bastards mix ethereal blues and lo-fi alt-rock into a unique formula on their third album, The Mountain, which they’re supporting on tour now. The soaring title track oozes sonic majesty, with pedal-steel guitar and Erika Wennerstrom’s vocals surfing over waves of crashing guitars.

A few of the band’s songs feature a softer flavor, but the Austin-by-way-of-Southwest-Ohio band generally tends to rock out. Wennerstrom leads the way with a powerful mojo recalling artists from Patti Smith and a young Robert Plant to Chrissie Hynde, the Breeders, Sleater-Kinney, and the Black Keys.

The current touring band doesn’t include a pedal-steel player, but the group is building its profile nonetheless, having recently made their debut appearance on David Letterman. The band will also be appearing at SXSW, but this SA show ought to provide a more relaxed atmosphere for checking out a rising buzz band. $10, 8pm Thurs, Feb 26, Sam’s Burger Joint, 330 E. Grayson, (210) 223-2830,