Power-pop trailblazers The Exploding Hearts have announced an expanded and remastered reissue of their sole studio album, Guitar Romantic, due May 26, 2023 via Third Man Records. A new mix of the track “I’m A Pretender,” remixed in 2022 by since-departed former member “King” Louie Bankston, is out now.
In the twenty years since its release, and the subsequent tragic deaths of three of the four band members in a van accident later that same year, Guitar Romantic has grown to be a classic of the genre.
The expanded and remastered reissue brings new life to the album, and with it, plenty of old favorites and unheard new discoveries for fans.
The Exploding Hearts were born in Portland, Oregon and drew inspiration from the likes of the Buzzcocks, Undertones, and Nick Lowe. With ten songs clocking in at just 28 minutes, the Hearts’ Guitar Romantic operated in a streamlined way.
Three months after its domestic release, with momentum building, band members Jeremy Gage, Adam Cox, and Matt Fitzgerald, all barely in their twenties, would die in a tragic van accident that ended the band. They were survived by Terry Six.
Guitar Romantic (Expanded & Remastered) was created by original album producer Pat Kearns using old reel to reel and archived DAT tapes for the first time in twenty years. Snippets of pre-and-post-take studio dialogue amongst band members was dropped in.
The remastering uncovered the previously forgotten organ-heavy “King Louie Mix” of the song “I’m A Pretender.” There was also the discover of a completely unheard take of “So Bored”, previously not even known to have been recorded at the Guitar Romantic sessions. Also included is a remastered version of “Busy Signals” (a song originally released on a small-quantity 7-inch in January 2003).
All of these songs are housed in a gatefold packaging, still all fitting on a single LP.
With plans to play a handful of select tribute shows across the US to honor the Guitar Romantic material, Terry Six continues to carry the torch for The Exploding Hearts.