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Kayla Moreno May 26, 2023

Midwest emo, as a genre, has transformed many times over. New artists emerge into the scene, curating their own unforgettable sounds. Heart Attack Man exemplifies this phenomenon perfectly, with nostalgia occasionally dripping into their Freak Of Nature LP without completely overtaking it. These songs belong to Heart Attack Man, and consequently their fans, in ways that excite me for the band’s future.

Frontman Eric Egan credits Motion City Soundtrack as a top influence of his, and the effects of this influence are crystal clear. Being on the other side of this truth is a first for me, as someone who is also heavily influenced by someone else. Egan can take melodies like "Late To The Orgy" and synth sounds like those in "See You On The Other Side", which are recognizably borrowed from Motion City Soundtrack while keeping them authentic to Heart Attack Man. The biggest fear of those of us who are inspired by others tends to be the looming burden of originality. Egan encourages us to borrow from our favorite artists because we can turn these elements into something that belongs to us and our fans who get it.

It’s fascinating being the center of the Venn diagram as an artist. You have influences on either side, but you are fundamentally a combination of things that make you unique. These elements are critical to making a band memorable. Heart Attack Man is here for the long haul. Their stylistic choices will impact more Eric Egans for years to come.

There is also something special about collaborative efforts. Lil Aaron took the wheel with much of the "Freak Of Nature" production, and it shows. Lil Aaron, on the surface, could be a surprising choice for a punchy, arena-worthy midwest emo LP. However, those who know Lil Aaron’s body of work know that this is exactly within his ballpark. He is just as passionate about the genre as the rest of us, and his creative ears are very present throughout the whole record. I have had the pleasure of watching Lil Aaron dj many an Emo Nite in Los Angeles. He is one of us just as much as Egan. I hope to see more of this creative partnership in the future.

Heart Attack Man’s knack for vulnerability serves as a reminder of why we’re all here in the first place. "Like A Kennedy" could have been controversial, but instead, the song’s sentiment is necessary. The tragedy the song is based upon earnestly encapsulates some heavy feelings Egan had been facing while writing the record and presumably throughout his life.

However, their sensitive nature does not feel forged, which can be easy to do within emo subgenres. Instead, we’re guided through real growing pains that don’t require mental gymnastics to understand. Egan says, “I want to speak to the manager of planet Earth,” and I think we’ve all been there. I hope Justin Pierre listens to the record, but especially "God Called Off Today". As a legacy artist, he’d be thrilled to know that this is the impact he’s left on the rest of us.

As a new fan of Heart Attack Man, I’m curious about and looking forward to following their next moves.

And I hope I get to see them play a live show before I’m forced to pay arena prices with Ticketmaster fees.

Catch Heart Attack Man on tour