Dirtnap Records, pretty much the best thing that could happen to punk rock in a long time. The new scene was led by three bands, The Briefs, The Epoxies, and The Exploding Hearts. The Briefs were goofy funsters, the Epoxies were robots from outer space and the Exploding Hearts were the sensitive kids, thriving on the romantic side of punk rock from the Clash (think of the songs sung by Mick Jones) to the Vibrators.The new millennium started great, there was the Pacific Northwest scene of awesome ’77-style punk bands on
The Exploding Hearts formed in 2001, and quickly made a name for themselves in punk circles with their unique sound (it was still the era of a million NOFX-clone bands) and energetic live shows. Soon they were on the cover of MaximumRocknroll, and their long-awaited debut album, Guitar Romantic came out in April, 2003. The album was nothing short of a masterpiece, and they were just about to get all the success they deserved. But fate decided otherwise.
On 20 July, 2003 the band was driving home to Portland after a gig in San Francisco when the driver fell asleep and lost control of the van. Three members of the band (guitarist/vocalist Adam Cox – 23, bass player Matt Fitzgerald – 20, and drummer Jeremy Gage – 21) died in the accident, the only surviving member was second guitarist Terry Six. This tragedy marked the ending of the band’s short history, but their legacy remains with us. Listen to Guitar Romantic!