Although their name sounds like a nickname a serial killer might have, Chew Heart is a very promising indie duo out of Chicago. With Laura Granlund on vocals, guitar, and keys backed tremendously by Curt Swank on drums, Chew Heart is a lo-fi female/male band which incorpirates elements of sweet ’60s pop to edgy ’90s indie rock.
Granlund’s vocals are soft and almost innocent (remminsecent of Letters to Cleo’s Kay Hanley), ocassionally adding a devilish laugh in between songs. Her gutiar style is simple chords but dirty in sound for a nice juxtaposition. Behind Granlund is Swank on the drum kit. The indie-hipster-looking kid has some serious drum skills maxing out on hard hits and tight fills ala Charlie Watts meets Dave Grohl.
Recorded live in the studio, Messy Snarls has a sublte retro feel filled with echo thanks in part to being recorded to analog tape. With “minimal overdubs and no computer manipulation,” this six-song EP is energetic, intense and beautiful all rolled into one.
Opening with the bouncy rocker “Catty Cop” Granlund’s vocals perfectly pop out of the speakers with a sultry manor when she sings “we know what you’re up to, you’re up to no good.” A straight-forward rock song, “Western Mass” has a killer groove to it which finds Swank firmly in the pocket…speaking of Swank, check out his killer drum playing on the final track “This Lovely Law.”
At barely 15 minutes, the songs on Messy Snarls are short bursts of beauty – I implore you not to fall in love with the two-minute number “Private P.D.A.” Forgive my serial killer comparison to the Chew Heart name, Messy Snarls is the surprise new favorite of 2010.