Stomping along to dirty, sexy desert riffs and big, sparkly, glam hooks, Sweethead lurched forth from the Josh Homme-led LA rock crowd in 2009 with a self-titled debut album that pitched biker bar grime with decadent rawk-star pouting.
Taking their name from a Ziggy Stardust B-side that was banned for being too risqué, former Queens of the Stone Age man Troy Van Leeuwen provides the grunting guitar licks whilst vocalist Serrina Simms takes stance as a Sunset Strip glamour puss with a whisky-soaked purr and a brassy attitude.
The recipe remains the same on new EP Mortal Panic – with its chugging guitars building into good-time, late-night dishevelment and an unhealthy air of slinky, back alley sleaziness, you’re left in dire need of a cold shower.
Despite Van Leeuwen’s might and reputation, Simms also emerges a star; she lures you in with a smokey sass before blowing up into a trampy, 70s rock vixen that takes names and leaves no prisoners on the rollicking ‘Life of Laralay’.
Second track ‘Tunnel Vision Blue’ also stands out as a husky, horny ode to bottom of the bottle lust that breaks down into a messy sprawl of regret – “You’ve got your wants/ You’ve got your needs/ Just take these wheels out for a spin/ See which one is gonna give it a rip”.
A cover of The Kinks’ ‘Tired of Waiting’ gives another nod to their unashamed list of classic influences and – whilst there’s no experimental re-writing of the rock and roll hand book – the strutting, hard drinking bravado of it all should you have you pulling rock gurns and air guitaring like yourlife depends on it.
Download Sweethead’s new EP for free at Noisetrade and keep an ear out for a new album due early next year.