Not too long ago, I was talking about a small band out of Providence, Rhode Island making references to some of my favorite bands, and telling you how this said band is full of musical talent. Well, I'm back again to reassure it, with Sweetthieves' first full length. Their demo showed some refreshing music, but it was just as taste of what was to come.
View From a Glass Tower is a very impressive debut. Added are nine catchy tracks of a mellow jazzy sound amped up by consistently hard hitting drumming and deep punchy basslines that continually groove. Sweetthieves show clear signs of originality, though hints of influence come from some of the best music of 80's and 90's including The Cure, Sonic Youth, Shellac, Fugazi, and Unwound. I love the Albini-esque production of the record. The bass is deep and bold, helping to set the mood with the chime that comes from the baritone guitar.
Hilary Jones (bass) and Dave Martinka (guitar) duel vocally, and do it well. Their voices layer each other nicely. Martinka has mostly a melodramatic projection while Jones is haunting, soothing, and sweet. She also throws a bit of sass out from time-to-time, such as in the gut wrenching "N.P.N."
View From a Glass Tower is a tight well rounded package, but can be claustrophobic, such as in "N.P.N." and "Family of Thieves." It shines best when the songs are allowed to breath, and the instruments have time to lay down rhythmic foundations for each other to play off of, such as in "Constant Sound" "I can Wait" "The Meek Will" "Principal of Least Interest" and "Orange is the New Black."
Sweetthieves are clearly angular, rhythmic and melodic, but they're not spazzing out into different directions every second, and they're not self-indulging in the unknown. They're showing a genuinely solid sound in the world of indie rock that is pretty hard to find these days.