Sweetheart - Art Is Dead Is Dead (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Art Is Dead Is Dead (2005)

The Perpetual Motion Machine

Art Is Dead Is Dead is an understandably disjointed but promising effort from Kent, Ohio's Sweetheart. The disc collects the band's now out-of-print two-song 7" as well as four previously unreleased songs. Apparently, most of the EP was recorded in a TV studio over the course of three days on the campus of KSU without permission and only fountain water to drink, and it shows; the band's angular, jutting and raw post-hardcore has a strange sense of urgency and thrown-togetherness about it. It's the kind of restrained complexity found in the early work of a band like such.

It's hard to draw comparisons but their guitar tone is, while not nearly as intricate, relatively similar to Hot Cross, noticably in a track like in the instrumental closer "I Truly Love You But I Cannot Sing..." Admittedly, the lead vocalist is indeed particularly not too strong, and seems best fit when attempting the sort of pseudo-melodic, laid back spoken word most "arty" bands occasionally go for. In "Don't Flatter Yourself, I Just Write Songs," he bears an uncanny resemblance to Brian Moss (the Ghost / Hanalei), singing "I only want to be attractive / 'coz I want to attract you / and I wish I were thin / Goddamn this body, so fat and crude / and I wish I were witty / and I want to be cluttered and patient too..."

Sweetheart definitely achieve the bookish, coffeehouse early post-hardcore sound they attempt in Art Is Dead Is Dead, but in an expected cohesion and next logical step on their full-length (due out later this year on the Perpetual Motion Machine), as well as a less muddled production assistance, they could definitely more easily whelm the listener as opposed to a marginal pique of interest.

Am I Saying 'Tight' Too Much?