Ohio is known for many things, and among them of course is its legacy in punk, hardcore, and post-hardcore. Far from just a name drop in a Hawthorne Heights song, the state boasts bands like Rejoice, Circus, SLUG, En Love, for your health, and many more.
Today’s exclusive brings to light a lost work of one of Ohio’s most enigmatic underground acts, the emotionally charged Sweetheart. “The Process of Making Us Well” is a twelve minute swell of tense, densely layered bits and pieces.
Luckily, you don’t have to be familiar with the band’s brand of noise to appreciate the song, with it’s layers of different performances, serrated guitar lines, and altogether midwestern disposition providing enough substance to justify every sense of the word ‘epic.’
Embark on the journey yourself with the exclusive stream below courtesy of Expert Work Records:
There’s a lot of interesting history behind the making of the single, too – here’s an exclusive quote from there band:
“The Process of Making us Well was recorded by the band in Columbus Ohio. Our friend the artist Craig Dransfield had rented part of an empty warehouse in the industrial part of town and wanted to get more artists to rent sections of it so we could take over the whole thing and build a community there. This was way before Ghost Ship in California burned down and shone a light on a thousand artist-collective-work-live spaces operating outside zoning restrictions. We had experienced a few of these types of places in our early tours, including an incredible one in Providence, RI. Before Craig got other folks in there, though, it was just huge and mostly empty except some mocked up 2×4 frames for walls. We brought all our own gear in there: a 24-track Soundcraft mixing board, an 80’s Otari 1/2” 8-track tape machine and microphones and the drum kit and our Marshalls with 8×10 guitar cabinets and SVT stack for bass. We focused on this one 12-minute song, embraced the radio interference coming through our cranked amps, and just let the sound breathe in this huge space for a few days. I think we overdubbed the vocals in the warehouse too but there aren’t any other overdubs on the record. Due to this recording approach there are noises and flubs but it all feels real. We actually tried re-recording a cleaner version of this song when we were in LA for The Unbearable Tightness of Being, but it just didn’t have the same raw feel to it, so we scrapped it.”
Hey, what’s this Unbearable Tightness of Being they’re talking about? We’re so glad you asked:
‘…recalling the history of meeting Sweetheart, Justin Nardy, the founder of Expert Work Records gets back down the memory lane to Ohio of the early 2000’s. When Nardy had been active with his band, Bald Eagle. The connection between two acts was deep:’
“We found a band that could keep up with our guitar riffs, could hold their own in a basketball game, Bryan (the guitar player) could “out beard me” (we both had massive beards). They truly were one of the nicest bands we met while touring, always willing to put us up, help with a show etc. they quickly became friends with One Inch Punch (the drummer from Bald Eagle’s other band), Subscribe (another Columbia band), and Warhammer 48K. And introduced us to many Ohio bands as well – Taco Ninja and Used Kids Records in Columbus.” – for Justin Nardy, who’d started Expert Work to release some of the best records of the era, it was a nice challenge. Justin recalls: “They only had a chance to release a self-released 7” and later, an EP called Art Is Dead Is Dead. Both of those are fine releases, but aren’t the band’s strongest efforts. When I found out they had recorded two other records and that they had never released them, I knew I had to be a part of it and help them get these records out into the world.”
We are happy to help – the records are due out February 2nd. Pre-order and check them out here.