There’s an unmistakable market for nostalgia. Sweet and the Sweet Sweets obviously figured that out. TV, movies, music. Rinse, recycle, repeat. The upshot, though, is that in revisiting certain things, we come to a deeper understanding of what made us fall in love with them in the first place. We maybe even find something new about it we didn’t get out of it before. There’s a fine line, though, between what works and what doesn’t. Throwback bands for the sake of being a throwback band? Not so much. Taking something you love, finding a way to make it yours, and embracing the kitsch? That we can get behind.
Occupying the same sonic realm as a band like Fitz & The Tantrums sounds like a daunting task but - we’ll be honest here - Sweet and the Sweet Sweets find a way to make this a little more fun, organic, and surprisingly sincere. It’s raucous without being silly, with enough rock to offset the fact that it’s really dance music at heart. They wouldn’t be out of place on stage with Rockabilly stalwarts Reverend Horton Heat, but would play just as well with local bands like Mad Anthony.
It’s not straightforward rock and roll - it swings and struts its way around. The little flourishes - a saxophone poking in and out of a track, the organ popping up in appropriately sparse ways, guitars accenting a track rather than driving it forward, gang vocals that shout choruses with frenetic aplomb - they’re more than the sum of their parts. They’re engaging, entertaining, and a hell of a lot of fun to listen to. More importantly, they’re not a band playing a role, no matter how theatrical they may come across. They come to get down, and hope that you’re there for the same thing.
You can find booties shaking and sweat dripping wherever Sweet and the Sweet Sweets set up shop. At this year’s MidPoint Music Festival, find them (and, as mentioned, shaking booties) at Maudie’s at 10:15 alongside Salad Boys, Orchards, and The Glazzies.