Formed in 2003, NYC rockists The Unsacred Hearts rose from the wreckage of teenage dreams, abandoned garages and naive knockoffs to make a visceral, poetic, original noise. While the band made their bones on ultra-distilled rock and roll, weird chords and wild live sets, they always led with the heart. Loud and fast, yes, but the sonic boom was just the straightest line to the truth. Now, with the release of their strangely beautiful second record called The Honor Bar, the Hearts move a bit further down that line.
Rhythmic, romantic, poetic, and still peculiar, The Honor Bar evokes the city of New York itself or, rather, the city resounds in The Honor Bar. The maelstrom and beauty of the city comes across in the sparse, unerring beats, the stark instrumental phrases, the myriad voices in whispers and shouts. Webs of sounds, words and images -- all traffic on the Bowery and midtown sky scrapers -- juxtapose with the sweet intimacy of the fire escape and 2AM walks down solitary side-streets. The constant voice is that of Joe Willie, more poet than singer, with a voice that only implies melody, and words, though littered with the everyday, reach for the grand themes of commitment, friendship, loss and love.
The Honor Bar is certainly not for everyone and neither are The Unsacred Hearts. When they formed, their only goal was to make rock n roll. They did not ask, what is cool, what do people want to hear, or what should we wear. The only question was, how do we keep playing rock n roll? And, over the years, they kept asking that question with each new song, each live set bringing a response. When they last asked, the answer was The Honor Bar.