Sweetish Carves Their Own Niche.

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 6, 2007 4:35PM

A couple years ago we came across a local band named Wonderful Smith's promo pack. We pulled out the photo and immediately cringed, worrying that the group was going to be another slightly granola frat-friendly party band (not that there's anything intrinsically wrong with that, it's just not our thing). However, if there's one thing we do pride ourselves upon, it's that we give EVERYTHING that crosses our desk a listen. If someone can take the time to send us our music, the least we can do is give it an honest listen.

So we popped the disc in and were met with a lovely blend of indie rock smarts and winning pop hooks ... it was just the sort of pleasant surprise we often hope to encounter every time we pop an unsolicited CD (or nowadays, MP3) into our preferred listening device. We followed the group for a while, enjoying their further output and their live sets, and then we noticed they sort of just disappeared. Apparently their drummer moved out of town, and while the band never broke up, they didn't really play out anymore.

2007_06_sweetish.gifThe core duo of the band, Holly Senchak and Ben Hilt decided to start up a side-project, including Holly's guitar and keyboard, Ben's upright bass, and both their voices, and they called it Sweetish. They played the acoustic circuit for awhile, fleshing out their songs, experimenting, and solidifying their catalog. After a while, though, both realized they missed the propulsive feeling of a full band. So to keep things interesting, they drafted this dude named Izzy, from local hardcore band Disrobe, and threw him behind the drum kit.

The end result is a weird and wild hodgepodge of lost black and white film soundtracks setting up shop alongside quiet confessionals in the haunted singer songwriter vein. And then they'll suddenly just rock the fuck out, creating an aural whiplash that satisfies when it should, by all rights, stun. And then, just as suddenly they'll slip into inspired paranoia occupying the same dramatic terrain as, say, the Dresden Dolls. Altogether, the band provides an unexpected and sonically expansive ride.

Sweetish plays the Chicagoist 3rd Anniversary Party at Subterranean tomorrow night!