The Heart Throbs History

The Heart Throbs formed in Reading, England in 1987. The original lineup consisted of sisters Rose Carlotti (vocals/guitar) and Rachael DeFreitas (bass/vocals), with Stephen Ward (guitar) and Mark Side (drums). Despite their superficial resemblance to other bands of the time, the Heart Throbs were distinguished by the dark subject matter of their lyrics and the strong feminist stance they often took. In an early interview Rose noted that the sound of the music could be deceptive: "Well, because we do upbeat pop we're seen on the surface as another bubblegum band. But what we do is much more intense and disaffected."

Their first single, the Toy 12", was released in 1987 on the independent In Tape label, followed by Bang and Too Many Shadows on Rough Trade in 1988. After unsatisfactory experiences with Rough Trade the band formed their own label, Profumo, on which they released Here I Hide in 1988. The following year saw the first of a series of personnel changes, as the band added guitarist Alan Borgia (AKA Alan Barclay), while former guitarist Stephen Ward moved to keyboards. Blood From A Stone, the first single to feature the new lineup, was released in 1989 to greater critical acclaim than had greeted previous singles. The band's growing reputation ultimately led to the band signing with UK indie One Little Indian (affiliated with Elektra in the US).

Their debut album, Cleopatra Grip was released in 1990. Described by Melody Maker as "Uncompromising, provocative and erotic", the album showcased the band's ability to blend beautiful melodies with often disconcerting lyrics. Additional singles released from the album included I Wonder Why and the exquisite Dreamtime. Following the Cleopatra Grip tour, DeFreitas and Side left the band, replaced by the new rhythm section of Noko (formerly of Luxuria) on bass and Steve Monti (formerly with Ian Dury & The Blockheads) on drums. The new lineup recorded the Total Abandon EP in 1991, including a cover of the Patti Smith Group's "Pumping (My Heart)."

Jubilee Twist was released in 1992. In the U.S. the album was released through A&M, but when it did not perform as well as they had hoped the label subsequently dropped the band. Their third and final album, Vertical Smile was released on on One Little Indian in 1993. During this period the band experienced another personnel change, replacing the rhythm section with Colleen Browne (later with the Pale Saints) on bass and Steve Beswick on drums. After completing their final tour at the end of 1993 the group disbanded in early 1994.

Following the breakup of the Heart Throbs Rose formed Angora, with Steve Beswick, Pol Burton, and Farzana Fiaz. In 1996 the group released the Pretty Nothing 7", prior changing their name to Tom Patrol. After performing a number of shows the group disbanded.

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