Initially, Sweethead’s self-titled album evokes neither regret nor awe but a feeling eerily in between. It feels repetitive, at first, with a steady dissonant bass and indecipherable lyrics muddled into one. But if you have the patience for another go, this album proves more intricate and layered. Sweethead is decadent and dark, and can take you on a ride into that dazed trance defined as after-hours debauchery.
Consider the line-up: we have Troy Van Leeuwen, guitarist for Queens of the Stone Age, standing as the visionary behind it all. Van Leeuwen teamed up with Norm Block, (Mark Lanegan Band and Plexi), on Bass and Drummer, Eddie Nappi, (Mark Lanegan Band, Handsome, and Enemy). Completing the group is newcomer, Serena Simms, a vampy-femme fatale whose brooding voice when melded with zealous guitar riffs, imparts that late night, grimy sensation.
Named after a David Bowie B-side, Sweethead’s album has a vintage feel and a style that merges glam-rock with an essence of punk, and at times, is nostalgic of straight rock n’ roll. The album begins with “The Sting,” a bass-heavy track that is catchy, eventually monotonous, and consequently, radio-ready. One unfortunate low is the track, “Amazing Vanishing Conquest,” where Simms croons repetitions of “I love you… I love you so much,” that is just gratuitous and cringe-worthy. But tracks like the mellow, more acoustic “Meet in the Road” and lyrical “The Last Evening” are redeeming. If you haven’t already checked out the EP released back in July, “The Great Disruptors” is a tight and clean jam. “Turn our Backs’ and “P.I.G” are two other fierce tracks to check out. Despite a few flaws, Sweethead has compiled a solid rock album definitely worth exploring.
Sweethead will be playing every Monday night in May at Spaceland, but if you aren’t in the LA area, check the album out at: http://www.sweethead.net/ and look for it in stores come May 11th.
By: Marion Bradford[Rating: 3/5]