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BY Ted Passons & Scott Ross
SWEATHEART-- file under Community College Rock, Man Jams (with Women) or Approachable Stadium Rock. Featuring a big rock sound fused with pop sensibility, Philadelphia's Sweatheart's sophomore EP "Tell Your Sister,” is set to rock you -- and your hot sister's world.
After spending the last four years cultivating their sound and sharing the stage with bands like Devo, Ween, Santigold and Bad Brains, Sweatheart has produced their new record on analog tape and pressed to vinyl. "Tell Your Sister", Sweatheart's follow up to 2005's debut "So Cherri", offers a new version of the band, with a thicker and richer sound, laced with honesty and tenderness. Not to mention a shiny "22x16" pullout poster, a must have for anybody.
That's thanks in large part to the band's main songwriter, Thom Lessner, who worked with producers Julian Grefe (Pink Skull) and Jeff Zeigler (Relay) to add a thick layer of bright churning chords and percussion to Sweatheart's amped up energy. Also on board for "Tell Your Sister" is Philadelphia's synth pop heartthrob Michael Robinson (of King God, Holland Boys, Human People), and lead vocalists Rose Luardo and Amanda Blank -- yes that Amanda Blank.
Catchy melodies, riffing guitars and sweet harmonies pepper the six tracks on "Tell Your Sister", as do lyrics about lust, romance and mystery; "All day long people are smiling, hang on to my number Ken and keep on dialing," sing Amanda and Rose on the dance-y “Ken.” The overall effect is what Lessner has always dreamed of -- "The biggest sounding rock record possible that commands you to dance" -- rife with memorable pop mantras. And while their live shows are wild (and noted for their intricate themed matching costumes, sets, and gear) the band has also invested in solid tunes. Hyper-addictive melodies on tracks like "Let Me Crazy" and "Baby Lynette" make this some of Sweatheart's accessible material yet.
Check out "Tell Your Sister", see Sweatheart on tour this fall and look for their forthcoming full-length, "Get Bent" in 2010
"Tell Your Sister" -- Out 12.15.09 on Free News Projects