Here's the story in a nutshell. On July 20, 2003, three out of the four band members of Portland band the Exploding Hearts died in a tragic car accident after releasing one full-length album on Dirtnap Records. The band had been making waves by their energetic live shows and getting press with many independent punk magazines and other outlets. Their debut LP Guitar Romantic had been a tour de force and people were curious to see where the band would go. Unfortunately, we never found out.
The Exploding Hearts combined the best of 1970s power pop with a punk rock ethos. Lyrically, the band dealt with whimsy, often combining punk rock staples like sniffing glue, girl trouble, the search for modern kicks, and self-harm, all in a major key. Like most power pop, these songs could lodge themselves in the deepest recesses of a mind for days. "I'm a Pretender" was the standout with an anthemic chorus declaring "I'm a pretender in the game of love/ Need somebody help me shatter my heart." Yeah, it's for comedy, but it has a creepy echo in the wake of the accident. This self-deprecating humor ambles throughout the album. It's a group of guys who can't seem to get out of their own way, but at least they're up front about it.
Here's a link to the full album!