Here's the record that started it all. This seven-song blast of ultra-distilled American-styled rock and roll features a riff-happy experimental bar-band fronted by one shoutin' drunkard. You'll hear weird chords and dirty, bouncy, driving beats. The songs are about Dylanology, giving up on rock and roll and not doing what you want but doing what you should.
The CD is currently out of print, but go on and visit your favorite digital retailer to buy the music.
The year was 2003. It was getting cold outside. We never forgot that because the tiny one room rehearsal shack we'd rented from a friend in Long Island City didn't really have heat. We had it all set up to record in there and we'd get together a couple times a week, never without warm coats or cold Bud tall boys, to make music. Thankfully Joe Willie was on the mic for the first time and we loved it. Since mid '95 he'd been writing lyrics for our several underachieving backyard rock partnerships, all of which Dave and I loudly and proudly rocked for. His words, always honest and poetic, had taken on a new urgency, especially since what it seemed like he was writing about, in some way, was our lives as underachieving rock-band-dudes. Somehow he endowed our continuing musical pursuits with dignity and purpose, and we were genuinely fired up about it. We'd been dosing ourselves with very inspiring sounds, specifically Richard Hell's Blank Generation, lots of Mitch Ryder, Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club, all the bands in Michael Azzerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life. During this period we all lived in Joe's house in Hoboken at the same time and we played our very first shows.-Travis
Joe Willie: vocals
Dave Siegel: guitar
Andy Ross: bass, vocals
Travis Harrision: drums
Engineered by Peter Kohl. Basic tracks recorded at Beautyrock, Long Island City.
Overdubs done at the Shack.
#2 engineered by Terence Bernardo and Jimmy Mikaoui and Rebecca Roses at NYU.
Mixed by Travis Harrison at the Shack.
Mastered by Steve Fallone at Sterling Sound
Guest musicians include Brian Kantor (drums on 1978), and Terence Bernardo (piano, breathing, percussion on Stuck Inside a Mobile Home with the Mansion Blues Again).
"It's a raw, dark, sexy and dangerous celebration of rock'n'roll."
"FOUR STARS...New York City garage-punks deeply in love with their late 70s forbearers. Unsacred Hearts' debut has more character, range and potential than most. A strong first effort if there ever was one. The #3 EP of 2004"
"Across seven tracks they proved themselves star students of their 70s forbearers, channeling Richard Hell, the Heartbreakers and others in a collection of tightly wound garage songs about nothing more or less than the subject of rock and roll itself."
"FOUR STARS...recommended without reservations."
-All Music Guide
"The Unsacreds excel at punchy rhythms and jittery riffage."
-The Village Voice
"This seven-song, self-titled CD has some sharp claws. It's a great rock album in the spirit of old NYC."
"I can honestly say that listening to the Unsacred Hearts EP makes me shiver a little bit...loud, catchy, good rock music you don't have to be pretentious about."
"Soulfully piledriving blues punk seen through the eyes of some drugged out southern cowboy."
"Really rockin, feel-good dance-punk."
"The Unsacred Hearts play gritty, noisy rock nuggets."
-Time Out New York
"The Unsacred Hearts transcend the hipster movement by replacing posturing with passion...Stellar songwriting."
-The Houston Music Review
"That album rocked hard enough to put balls on my grandmother."
-Oliver Anderson, Music Director 89.3 KUGS FM, Bellingham,WA
"Sounds that you could danceably have seizures to, lyrics that are straight forward and honest and a rhythm guitar that makes you blow your load instantaneously."
-Do It Fierce
"Gritty energy [and] heavenly bruised melodies"
"When it comes to rock and roll, the Unsacred Hearts have an excellent understanding of what its all about."
"Highly danceable (and compact) rock and roll songs about rock and roll."
"Your new favorite band."
"The material on the Unsacred Hearts' debut EP follows the time honoured tradition of rock songs about rock. That always comes with the potential of sounding silly (we all have nightmares about bad hair metal where the main subject was "RAWK!") but as this is a fairly charming and skilled band their subject matter is delivered with a good deal of reverence and conviction.
The band shows off a number of influences over these 7 songs. At the core this has the feel of early New York City punk rock, but the band dips into moments of folk, blues and soul, 60s mod and even a bit of outlaw country before the record's run it's course. "Stuck Inside A Mobile Home With The Mansion Blues Again" is an infectious amalgam of post-punk dissonance, garage rock and folky storytelling. It sounds fresh and original yet it's deeply rooted in the band's influences. The song's about an old busker claiming that Dylan's "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" is the only Dylan song in which the title doesn't appear in the lyrics (it's not). Weird subject matter for a rock song? Sure, but the Unsacred Hearts make it sound damn important nonetheless. "1978" is a tribute to the NYC punk scene of that year, one that the band admits they were "born too late" to witness. They wax nostalgic for the time of Johnny Thunders and berate the current trends in punk rock (the line "I don't want your diary stuck in a fucking song" makes me smile). "We Were A Band" is another high point, showing off well integrated country influences in a tune that you'll be singing for hours afterwards.
I'm really excited about this band; there's less than 15 minutes of material on this disc yet I could easily keep talking about it. The lead track "I Was Raised To Be Polite & Kind" is barely a minute and a half long and it ends with a guitar solo that feels classic for lack of a better term. It's the ultimate tease and leaves you in such anticipation for what's to come. The same can be said about this EP."
- ultradistilled Americanstyle rock&roll