Friday, June 10, 2011

Sweetthieves - Blood and Curses (2008)

This album never had a chance.

Sweetthieves emerged from Providence, RI in 2003 to unleash riff after sweet riff upon the world. As a power trio consisting of baritone guitar, tuned-up bass, and punchy drums, their songs consisted of angular, aggressive, dissonant riffs with well-executed boy-girl vocal harmonies. Their songs are tightly composed, without a lot of excess riffing or improvisation. Guitarist Dave Martinka has his own line of amps and pedals, and his expertise in guitar equipment translates to killer guitar sounds live and in the studio. Catchy, dissonant math rock. Delicious.

Blood and Curses is a lean, mean album that should have scored big for the Sweetthieves. The songs are tight, the sounds are good, and production is clean and powerful. The guitars snarl, the drums pummel, and the vocals float nicely on top. So what happened?

The guitarist and the bass player broke up. Blood and Curses is a breakup album in a very real sense. With lyrics about vengeance and song titles like "I'm Right Here With You as You Burn Our House to the Ground," its not hard to tell what this record is about. I can't even imagine how uncomfortable the recording sessions must have been.

The album release in 2008 was the band's final show. Without any further promotion or distribution, its easy to imagine a box with hundreds of Sweetthieves records collecting dust in some Providence basement.

The band members have since moved onto other interesting projects - bass player Hilary Jones is now playing with the guys from Tiny Hawks. For now, Blood and Curses continues to collect dust.

Sweetthieves - Blood & Curses


  1. Under the radar level shite Franklin, daddy likes. Had not a clue the Tiny Hawks boys had regrouped into anything. They have a name?

  2. Arcing . I believe they have an album coming out soon.