"Life Is Still Sweet" CDEP
Genres: folk rock, blues rock, country-folk
2248 Panorama Terrace
Los Angeles, CA 90039-3543
Feb 3 - 9 2003
Is Still Sweet is a five-song EP from Marcellus Hall and Dave
Varenka's Railroad Jerk side-project, White Hassle.
A play on everyone's favourite burger chain, the band plays upbeat
folk-influenced blues with a very catchy, hummable sound. The
title-track, for example, is a simple folk-rock tune that's got a
great harmonica-vocals trade-off going on. The lyrics are simple
(much of the words are simply "Life is still sweet" repeated
over and over), the instrumentation is regular, yet it's as catchy as
Another interesting element of White Hassle's music is that
they have a bit of turntable work going on in some of the tracks
(courtesy of Atsushi Numata). A prime example is the
cover of The Everly Brothers' "Let It Be Me."
Littered with turntables and drum programming, the track still manages
to sound very folky - the excellent harmonica part certainly helps.
The album's two last songs, "2 Fingers Cross'd" and
"Futura Trance" (there is a hidden track, but it's only
thirty seconds long) are also winners. The former boasts some
neat country-folk vocals, while the latter is just a rollicking
Altogether, Life Is Still Sweet may seem a little
unimportant, mainly due to the fact that it is, really, only an EP,
will surely tide over fans waiting for the next album.
Fun Fact: "Let It Be Me" is
not the only Everly Brothers cover the band has done - in fact,
their 1997 album on Matador Records, National Chain, featured a
version of "Oh, What A Feeling."
5 songs, distributed by the
label released 2000]