Material: This Sweet Things show is so refreshing, because it’s been so long since a new rock & roll band of this type has emerged and excited. This is sleazy, trashy rock, but the fact that the band is from New York City is apparent—this is more Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers than Mötley Crüe. That blues-punk vibe that served Thunders, plus Europeans like the Dogs D’amour, Hanoi Rocks and even the Heavy Metal Kids, so well for decades is being dragged out of the dumpster by these sweaty lads, and resuscitated with their boozy breath. The brash tunes are fantastic—anthemic and yet gloriously sloppy. It’s like a bar-room singalong, with the addition of great musicians.
Musicianship: The dichotomy here is that the guys look like they’re sloshed, ambling around the stage like Keith Richards’ less- together grandchildren. And yet, in truth, they know exactly what they’re doing. Tierney and Behrman make for a thrilling guitar pairing in the great rock & roll Richards/Jones (/Wood) tradition. Sam Hariss deserves special mention. He’s pulling off a decent Johnny Thunders look, but his bass playing is on-point, and driving the whole thing forward. He takes the lead vocals a couple of times, and a song that sees him yelling, “I want cocaine” might be the best of the set.
Performance: No complaints here. There’s a wonderfully dangerous edge to the Sweet Things, as if anything might happen. That’s important, because that quality has been missing from rock & roll for some time. That vibe of decadence, debauchery and walking a tightrope over self-destruction has been out of fashion for an age but, as uncool as it might seem, has produced the most exciting music in rock’s rich history. The trick is to remain in control when it looks like you’re not.
Summary: The Sweet Things have got everything, including a great name. Musically, they have just the right amount of expertise and throwaway riffs. The songs are catchy, and the guys look great. Whether they’re playing a stadium or a saloon like Harvard & Stone, the Sweet Things are already rock stars.
The Players: Dave Tierney, vocals, guitar; Lorne Behrman, guitar; Sam Hariss, bass, vocals; Darren Fried, drums.
Photo by Brett Callwood
Venue: Harvard & Stone
City: Los Angeles, CA
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