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RAZORCAKE MAGAZIN (US) AUG 2021 Four tracks of the real California garage pop not unlike what those creepy teenagers were trying their hands at for a while with rather unfortunate results. Even with songs about cowards and liars, it’s still got me imagining a slo-mo Slip ’N Slide off the Ventura Pier, cannonballing into the Pacific as the sun sets on the horizon. The EP culminates in the sweetest, dreamiest love song from the guitarist to the drummer since Shellshag’s “5’ 1” and Change.” Awwwwwww Seth, ya cute, bearded bastard! (TB)

shutupandplaythemusic.blogspot.com (US) June 2021 microdose Alien Snatch Records x, the German label dedicated to the world's classiest power pop/garage punk bands for more than two decades (Hex Dispensers, Mojomatics, Primitive Hands, Lost Balloons, Bad Sports, Lame... to name just a few of them), is back with a favorite new highly-productive band, Sweet Reaper (two Lps released in 2020, Closer Still & Side Kick, and a brand new EP, Microdose, out two month ago!). The trio band is from Ventura, California. The melodic guitar has a marvelous "gling gling" aggressive sound, the bass lines brightly enfold the songs and the female drummer alternates mid-tempo rhythms (Cowards & Like The Way) and nervous beats (Liar & Drink The Poison). The immersion in those four songs looks like to me a pleasant return to the daily bread of my early-thirties, into the well-known home of the beloved Marked Men, Manikins, Kidnappers and other Hidden Charms. Nostalgic surges in sight ! And that damned time that still flies... The name of the band, as well as the artistic drawings of the Great Reaper on the front cover, remind me that the very best is mostly behind me now, and the feeling, that everything is vain, becomes each day more pervasive (om)

greennoiserecords.com (US) april 2021 microdose New 7" from Sweet Reaper, packaged beautifully by Alien Snatch as always, the band starting the proceeding a bit slower than typical, pushing the board off the top for a ride down a big hill before the opener is done, kicking into high gear on the second cut, the whole set snapping with that signature Sweet Reaper sound but some rollercoaster explorations of sounds and moods, maybe even a bit more introspective, the California power pop and punk influences showing through the stickers on the board. Another essential listen that gets better with each spin. (mw)

RAZORCAKE #121 (US) March 2021 sidekick Another really fun one from Sweet Reaper! Some contradicting lyrics on this one but to me, it feels like an ode to life despite the darker ending. I dare you to listen to this record and not dance. It makes me really miss basement shows. I wanna dance with a bunch of sweaty humans and smile and laugh and sing along until our faces hurt (ET)

Strutter Magazine (NL) March 2021 sidekick In 2020 we reviewed the excellent debut album of the Californian band SWEET REAPER and now there is album number 2 Sidekick. The 3-piece band around guitarist/vocalist SETH PETTERSEN, bassist/backing vocalist DANNY GOMEZ and drummer SASHA GREEN, they return with another great full-length record filled with 10 new strong catchy short uptempo rockers. The album starts with a cool short uptempo rock and roll tune titled Reaper's Back, while following titletrack Sidekick is a superb mixture of classic 60s Garage Rock, 1977 Punkrock and early 80s Powerpop, a wonderful catchy chorus driven uptempo rocker that makes you jump all the way throughout the song. The record continues with 8 more uptempo tunes that combine the best of garage, punk and powerpop, with powerful vocals and strong choruses besides razor-sharp guitarwork. Other highlights on the new album are Black Widow, Outta my mind, Spaceship and Same Old Thing (very catchy chorus, a bit like the classic first THE BOYS record), but any of the 10 songs are uptempo, catchy and rocking, so once you put on this record, you will be enjoying it from start to finish. This is a great follow-up to the debut record Closer Still of SWEET REAPER and you can check it out for yourself (8.5/10)

maximumrocknroll.com (US) Jan 2021 sidekick I’ve always loved art that seems to peel back the mask of an otherwise serene and happy environment. Ventura’s SWEET REAPER exists in the tradition of beach punk like AGENT ORANGE, ADOLESCENTS, RIKK AGNEW, etc. On the surface, Ventura could seem like a shiny, happy surfer’s paradise, but this album simmers with the sun-bleached angst beneath the boardwalk. Musically, we’re coming out of the gate strong: lead-off track “Reapers Back” is the best song the MARKED MEN never wrote. The MARKED MEN comparison is a bit of a red herring though, as the rest of the album bears less of a resemblance to Denton’s finest. Still catchy as hell, but with a cynical detachment to the vocals and an abrasive jangle to the guitars that at times harkens back to the ADVERTS. Ten short songs packed with melody, hooks, and energy. No chaff. (AM)

greennoiserecords.com (US) Dec 2020 When I start doubting about what I'm doing, I slap a new platter like this one on the record player, and I'm back at the edge of my seat and dying to tell you about the music I found, knowing there gotta be other Green Noisers out there that would also love this shit, shit to lift you out of the gloom and keep you going, this set moving along so much like a skateboard ride down the blacktop of a steep hill, swerving in and out of sunlight and shadow, smog that shrouds and sun that shines on the sidewalk, clearly fresh trucks mounted on a new board but stickers showing on the deck and head buzzing with sounds of the past, freak out and hot-rod rock of the 1960s and the best of the punk, hard rock, skate speed rock and power pop of the 1970s, shooting out of all that like a new skateboard rocketing out of the morning smog (mw)

BEATINMYBONES.COM (UK) DEC 2020 The Reaper is back. That Sweet, sweet reaper is back. Another record for us freaks and weirdos. Another record to blast out sky high, on repeat. The brand new record is out in just over a week, and I promise you it is again another super exciting record for us Garage Rock fiends, and it is definitely another exceptional record put out on Alien Snatch! Records. These 10 songs will make you feel like you are on some intense trip and the comedown doesn’t even cross your mind. A little something to settle your nerves. A little something to make you feel less awkward; this record is brilliant. Sidekick consists of solid anthems that will make you long for going to shows and being covered in lukewarm beer. Those were the days. Sweet Reaper make constant masterpieces; they’ve been around long enough now for us all to recognise this. Every single song on Sidekick is just a filthy and slick record. If like me your attention span is piss poor, then this record is going to serve you well. You can’t be still and listen to this record; it just makes you want to throw things, do things. Anything but sit still. Being still makes me feel uneasy (but I LOVE being asleep) and the new Sweet Reaper record just makes you want to soak up this record in all ways possible. There are no bad songs on this record. But let’s be honest, Sweet Reaper have never made a bad song or an average record. Everything I’ve heard so far just leaves me in awe, and Sidekick goes above and beyond. Their last record, Closer Still only came out this year and to hear something like Sidekick in the same year is just a real treat for the ears. What did we do to deserve this band! With Christmas coming up (raise your hand if you too are spending it alone!) maybe force people to listen to this record instead of those awful mushy Christmas songs. Sweet Reaper are of course one of those bands that you just need to see live, and given how that’s probably not going to happen any time soon- all we can do is play the records loud and get others to fall in love with them too. At the moment I think Isle of Life is my favourite/the one I keep on going back to. There’s something about it that gives off a beach feel; it just makes you want to watch the waves crash against some rocks, and let that sea air get right into your skin. They’ve got the same energy and feel to their sound like my favourite French babes, dr chan. There is something about both bands that just makes you forget everything around you, and just makes you feel liberated when you listen to the songs. Sidekick is such an effortlessly slick record, and for me not knowing a new record was coming just adds to the excitement. It’s an unexpected masterpiece; I love every single song on this record. I love how Spaceship makes you feel like you’ve gone into another world. I love how Doomsday Clock is probably going to lose our minds when we can finally see this band play live. I love how Same Old Thing is just under 2 minutes long and makes you feel like you’ve discovered the likes of the Ramones for the first time all over again. It’s just such a perfect record, and again they’ve made one that you can play over and over, and not get bored. The production on this record is on point, and every song on this record radiates such beautiful energy. I love how every song could be played at a houseparty continuously and not one single person would get tired of it. I just adore Sweet Reaper and their sound/style. Buy this record and play it loud!

Strutter Magazine (NL) DEC 2020 We are definitely heading into classic underground territory with the debut album of the Californian three-piece band SWEET REAPER. This band is formed around guitarist/vocalist SETH PETTERSEN, who has a great strong voice, and further members are the hard-driving rhythm section of bassist/backing vocalist DANNY GOMEZ and drummer SASHA GREEN. 11 songs are included on this wonderful retro sounding vinyl record that might as well be a re-issue of an old late 1970s/early 1980s record. It sounds really authentic and from start to finish this is a wonderful adventure through the fields of classic Punkrock, Powerpop, Punkpop and Garage Rock! Opener Sidewalk psycho is a catchy straight-ahead uptempo Powerpop/Punkpop anthem that has the classic THE RAMONES touch for sure. Following Car crash is a bit less explosive, but nevertheless a great rocking tune that has a bit of early 1970s NEW YORK DOLLS and late 60s dirty mean Garage Rock, while it could also be seen as a punkier version of classic THE WHO. The album continues with Pleasure, a real uptempo Punkrocker with a catchy fast-forward beat and a sound that is clearly British circa 1977 orientated like classic THE UNDERTONES, THE BUZZCOCKS, early THE DAMNED and early THE CLASH. Back to the New York/THE RAMONES sound of 1976 with the uptempo Dead man. Then we can hear one of the strongest songs of the album, which is the superb uptempo Powerpop tune Faster getaway that seems to be a deadringer for fans of the first classic THE BOYS record, so this is absolutely a stunning little song they have on offer here! Side-A of the vinyl record closes with Smae nightmare, another classic '77 British Punkrocker that would make SEX PISTOLS jealous for sure. Side-B continues with 5 more uptempo pieces that combine the best of these 4 worlds, Punkpop, Powerpop, Garage Rock and Punkrock, sounding raw when needed (Sad eyes), but also melodic and catchy with a Pophook (Cooler). Living hell is probably the most Punkrock track of the album, straight-ahead no-nonsene with that anarchy approach like it is still 1977 and we are in cold and dark London instead of warm and sunny California where SWEET REAPER is situated. Side-B further offers Take you there (catchy tough uptempo Punkpop a la THE BOYS) and closing track S X C which is faster Punkrock that is almost reminding me of classic early DEAD KENNEDYS, that other legendary Californian band. Without a doubt, this is one of the strongest American punk related releases in perhaps the past 30 years, with a much-needed diversity that contains influences from other subgenres as well, while the vocals are also really good. (8.5/10)

maximumrocknroll.com (US) Nov 2020 OK, this band got me trying to remember a Swedish pop band I used to listen to, it took me like a damn hour to think of… CAESAR’S PALACE, specifically the album Cherry Kicks. Ventura, CA’s SWEET REAPER presents way more punk in both production and songwriting, but it’s got a similar vocal delivery. A more relatable touchstone could be MARKED MEN, or I even dare to stretch it to HEX DISPENSERS. Don’t get too settled with my predictable Tex-ass comparisons though, because there’s a heap of California beach punk here, as per their proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Each pop vocal hook is sharpened deadly and cast through the cheek of any dumb punk willing to nibble. The drummer does that kick-drum-on-all-four-beats thing, topped with sixteenth-note hi-hats, it’s the ultimate thing to tip a band into danceable territory. A nice surprise! Who else hates the label name “ALIEN SNATCH!”? (MB)

RAZORCAKE #118 (US) OCT 2020 In the fall of 2014 a handful of skaters who called themselves The Great Skate Boys embarked on a skate expedition from Seattle to Tijuana with the sole goal of drinking some margaritas once they reached their destination. When I listen to SWEET REAPER I envision panning shots of these American heroes bombig hills down the back roads of the Western states. Determined and inspired by goals outside of the rigid, hypothetical stepladder of "success", SWEET REAPER play California garage pop for the post-trend set. A lifelong dedication to something never felt so easy and enjoyable to listen to. Let this record guide you to the backyard BBQ deep down in your heart, the flickering bonfire warming your soul and lifting your spirits.The world may be circling the drain but SWEET REAPER is catching the wake and fliping the bird to the goons who got us into this mess, 'Tura punx win again! (DARYL)

BEATINMYBONES.COM (UK) OCT 2020 About 6 months after it was released, I’m finally going to write about the new Sweet Reaper record. I thought I already had, but clearly not. Besides, it’s meant I have been listening to it non stop the past few days and by no means is that a terrible thing. Sweet Reaper makes that good stuff. That real gnarly Garage Rock music that hits you in the soul. The kind of music that makes you feel less alone with feeling lonely and a bit useless. There’s something about that fuzzy guitar and powerful vocals that just hit you, and the drums are like euphoric crashes to the soul. It’s a fantastic record, and to be honest, it just reinforces my love for them. Closer Still is just a feel good record, and you cannot help but forget your trouble for that half hour or so as you listen to these blistering songs. Again, it is another record you wish you could see being performed live, but the universe is on it’s arse at the moment and we can’t do shit. I hope when this all ends Sweet Reaper make their way to the UK and blow us all away with their brilliance. There’s only 3 of them in the band, but don’t let that for a second make you think they are tame and are afraid to be loud. Far from it! This trio knows exactly how to deafen the listener in the most pleasing way possible. Don’t believe me? Play Car Crash loud through headphone, and you’ll understand. Dead Man is the song you can imagine the crowd pogoing to so furiously and probably causing damage to their bodies- but why do we care?! It’s all part of the fun. And fun is one of the many things that this glorious record is. The record has 11 songs to just blow you away, and aside from that, you cannot help but be in awe of the slick production on this record. It’s got that strong DIY/lo-fi feel, and this is one of the many things that makes this such an incredible record. Is it their best work so far? Damn right it is. You can really hear something different on this record, and it’s on songs like Faster Getaway and Sidewalk Psycho. The latter being one of the really loud moments on the record. They aren’t afraid to mellow out on some songs, just like they don’t shy away from being brutally loud on some of the songs. It’s such a strong record, and if you’ve been obsessed with it for the past 6 months- you’ll get exactly why. You just wish you could crawl deep into the safety net of this record, and let it shield you from the shit that’s going on. But, that’s why one of the most freeing things we can do is play music loud in our homes and just shut the world out for a bit. Same Nightmare is one of my favourites at the moment but given I’ve had nearly 6 months to really soak up this record- I do change my mind a lot. I’ve got a lot of time for this song; there’s something about the lyrics and the whole creation of this song that just sticks with me. You can go between playing the record in order or putting it on shuffle, or whatever. Every song sounds perfect regardless of the order you listen to it, and for me that’s what makes it such a standout record. Of course it’s best to listen in order, then allow yourself to just let it play however you want. It just works. If the order of the record meant that Sad Eyes was the opener rather than Sidewalk Psycho, the record would still have this same feel. I guess that’s what makes it correct in calling this a perfect record. Every single song deserves its place, and is such a joy to listen to. As long as we have bands like Sweet Reaper, maybe, just maybe- we’ll be alright.

greennoiserecords.com (US) July 2020 Speaking of 1-2-3, that's what we got going on here, the brand new debut album from SWEET REAPER of California, the moniker of this band letting you know what you can expect, dark chocolate, punk rock menace with the punch of fast power pop, in love but pretty pissed off about it, "God damn it, you're the one I need..I'm a car crash, baby," it's all fun and dark, almost funny, serious fun, intentional and focused, spontaneous and real, a hard ball of rhythm, lyrics almost like Sabbath without the wizards and the metal music, punk rock busting out of the muck instead of stuck in it, or at least trying damn hard to get out of the tar pit of life, essential grab for all you fans of Dirtnap or probably most anyone reading this, one of the great albums of the summer of 2020. This is the shit, I shit you not. (mw)

fasterandlouderblog.blogspot.com (USA) July 2020 t seems like every time I turn around, Alien Snatch Records has released something new and awesome! Closer Still is the vinyl debut from Ventura, California trio Sweet Reaper. What we have here are 11 tracks of fuzzy garage pop that would be equally at home on the beach or at the cemetery. On the continuum of all things Alien Snatch, this band slides neatly between Radioactivity and the Hex Dispensers. Think catchy, lo-fi tunes that manage to be really upbeat and a little haunting at the same time. Sweet Reaper originated as the album Sweet Reaper by Seth Pettersen in 2015. That solo project soon turned into a proper band, and Closer Still is the second of the group's two full-length releases. It sounds like something that Dirtnap Records might have put out circa 2003, but with a little more of that modern-day Southern California flavor. You can call this a party record, but only if you're comfortable partying at a haunted house on the beach. Actually that sounds kind of awesome. Red vinyl is limited to 100 copies - you know what to do! (JR)


OX (GER) #156 JUN 2021 Ein atemberaubendes Veröffentlichungstempo legen die drei Burschen aus Ventura da vor. Zwei LPs und eine 7“ in weniger als einem Jahr, so kriegt man eine Pandemie auch sinnvoll rum. Ermüdungserscheinungen? Null! Vier Songs im bewährten Stil, und, erstaunlich genug, keine Resterampe von übrig gebliebenem Material. „Drink the poison“ klingt so verdammt nach einer liebevollen Bubblegum-Version von „Forest Ray Colson“, dass ich schmelze. Vier Songs,für die das 7“-Format dereinst erfunden, erdacht und schließlich gemacht wurde. (8/10)(KS)

OX (GER) #155 April 2021 SWEET REAPER - Sidekick: Auf Augenhöhe mit dem Debüt, wenn nicht sogar noch einen Tick besser, wobei das keine echte Rolle spielt, bei dem Niveau, auf dem wir uns hier bewegen. Das Covermotiv ist diesmal etwas schwerer zu stechen, aber die Songs gehen sofort ins Ohr. Wer die HEX DISPENSERS in etwas fröhlicher vermisst, zu wenig von den SPITS, GHETTO WAYS, sprich: der ersten Garde dieses Genres, im Schrank hat, kommt an SWEET REAPER nicht vorbei. Von den gerade mal zehn Stücken ist mehr als die Hälfte derart brillant, dass es fast wehtut, wie andere Bands sich erfolglos abmühen, während diese drei Gestalten Hit um Hit aus dem Ärmel schütteln, als wäre es die leichteste Sache der Welt. Ziemlich großartig.(9/10) (KS)

manierenversagen.de (GER) DEZ 2020 Nanu, da kommt aber unverhofft schnell Nachschub vom Reaper. Ich hab gerade erst die Texte und Tanzschritte vom ersten Album auswendig gelernt, da wird schon wieder neuer Zucker in eine formschöne 12" Vinylscheibe gepresst. Wie zu erwarten, ist auch diese Platte voll von tollen Melodien und kommt inklusive der Atmosphäre, die an die Leichtigkeit der Westküste Amerikas erinnert. Kein Wunder, wenn die drei Leute der Band sich doch ausdrücklich für Ventura und gegen L.A. entschieden haben. Für den Strand und gegen die Großstadt. Für das Bier auf der Porch und gegen das Crack in der Gosse. Für das Lagerfeuer im Garten und gegen das brennende Ölfass vor dem Liquor Store. Ja, und das hört man. Auch jetzt wieder erscheinen die 10 poppigen Garage Perlen bei dem Berliner Alien Snatch und ich glaube, damit hat das Label auch dieses Jahr gewonnen. Glückwunsch.Fun Fact: Sweet Reaper haben sich benannt nach einem Tattoo des Gitarristen und Sängers, Seth Petterson, das einen Sensenmann zeigt. Er stand wohl in einer Schlange im Liquor Store und hinter ihm hat ein Typ nur gemeint, „Hey Man. Sweet Reaper!“

OX (GER) #153 DEC 2020 SWEET REAPER - Closer Still: Punk mit Pop-Einschlag mag ich meistens tatsächlich nur wirklich so wie hier. Leichter Garage-Touch, unterschwellige WIPERS-Gitarren, eine gewisse Melancholie und ein Gespür für locker aus dem Handgelenk geschüttelte kleine Hits, die einen sofort packen. Da Alien Snatch als Label nicht muss, aber kann, nämlich herauspicken, kann man sich schon einigermaßen sicher sein, dass hier nur auf Vinyl kommt, was es auch verdient hat. Hier schwingen HEX DISPENSERS fast schon fröhlich ebenso mit, wie die genauso schmerz-lich vermissten GHETTO WAYS, die, Überraschung, ja beide auch auf diesem Label waren. Spricht für einen Hang zu einem gewissen Stil beziehungsweise für ein Qualitätslevel. Okay, über das Coverartwork kann man sich streiten, das würde ich mir nicht mal für viel Geld tätowieren lassen. Unter dem Strich bleiben elf kurz-weilige Songs der Band aus Kalifornien, die all die begeistern werden, die mit den genannten Bands eine untrennbare Liebe verbindet. Ich für meinen Teil bin Fan! (8/10) (KS)

manierenversagen.de (GER) July 2020 Ich hab mich noch nie gefragt, wie wohl die genialen Hex Dispensers und auch Marked Men/Radioactivity klingen würden, wenn sie nicht in den stickigen, versifften und MAGA-verseuchten Großstädten Texas‘ ansässig wären, sondern hin und wieder mal ein bisschen Pazifikluft schnuppern und Wellenreiten könnten. Und trotzdem sind Sweet Reaper mehr als nur die Antwort auf eine nicht gestellte Frage. Kalifornischer Power Punk Pop n‘ Roll Garage Surf, der richtig viel Spaß macht und den ich mir jetzt auf ne CD für den Discman gebrannt habe, damit ich damit am Maschsee schön Kiten Inliner fahren Bier trinken kann. Geil.Das Artwork ist auch toll. Naja. Nee, eigentlich find ich das ziemlich gruselig. Aber man soll ja nicht von der Form auf den Inhalt schließen. Falls euch Massenger gefallen – da sind 2 Leute mit dabei. Hurra, Sommer.(A)

onetwoxu.de (GER) July 2020 Sehr geiler Garagepunk von einem Trio aus Ventura, Kalifornien. Ihre recht straighte Spielart davon mag zuerst etwas unscheinbar wirken, landet dann aber in ihrer ausgesprochen tighten Darbietung und mehr als beachtlichen Hookdichte einen Volltreffer nach dem anderen.


Rumore (ITA) Sep 2020 Gli Sweet Reaper sono da bosco e da riviera, o meglio da spiaggia e da cimitero: dacché il trio di Ventura guidato da Seth Pettersen gioca con un’estetica surf gotica. Ce li vedrei bene i NOFX suonare Faster Getaway o intonare la melodia acidula di Sad Eyes sulla tomba di Ian Curtis. Wipers e sagace malinconia post punk su un’assolata spiaggia californiana che vede Greg Ginn in veste di aiuto bagnino. (MG)


stillinrock.com (FR) May 2021 microdose 7" Voici l'histoire. C'était en 2018, je cherchais des dessinateurs pour illustrer les best of Still in Rock, je suis tombé sur pochettes de Sweet Reaper. Dessiné par Seth Pettersen, le chanteur du groupe, il m'a finalement fait l'honneur d'une création pour Still in Rock (publiée ici). Et puis, quelques semaines plus tard, il m'a proposé d'écouter sa musique. Ce fut le coup de foudre immédiat, "Sidekick" et "Spaceship" sont deux énormes singles. J'ai donc décidé de suivre Sweet Reaper à la trace, ce qui m'a conduit à Closer Still (2020), et, ces jours-ci, à Microdose. Le nouvel EP du groupe qui fait honneur à une discographie déjà très belle. Il applique sa formule habituelle : des mélodies post-2001, une production mid-fi, et des refrains qui feraient rougir les meilleurs artistes power pop de la planète.

VOIX DE GARAGE FEB 2021 Après un 1er album en 2018 sur Burger Rds, ce jeune trio californien en à publier deux en 2020 ! Rien que ça !!!
Et c’est sur Alien Snatch Rds ! Donc ça excite mon intérêt ! D’autant que pour ce « Sidekick » la sortie se fait en 12’’ pressé en 45 tours pour avoir un son encore plus puissant et acéré !!! Musicalement avec les morveux de Sweet Reaper on navigue entre Garage modernisé / Punk Rock avec peut-être des accents Noisy Trashy Post Punk de fort bon aloi ! Le son de la basse est bien distinctif et ont se régale de l’entendre parfaitement même sur les titres rapides (qui jamais ne sombrent dans le bourrin). Un des gros charme de cet album c’est que les Sweet Reaper ne jouent pas sur un seul tempo, d’un titre à l’autre ça varie, mais également au sein de la même chanson. Un autre de ces charmes évidents c’est que ce sont de véritables chansons hyper accrocheuses et musclées qu’ils proposent ! Comme en plus cet album respire la joie de vivre et de jouer la musique qu’ils veulent, comme ils veulent, c’est à dire en se foutant complètement des chapelles / scènes / styles et de ce qui est branché, ça transpire et ça se communique à chaque écoute ! Et vu le plaisir que j’y prends je peux vous dire que je l’ai déjà beaucoup usé cet album! (BT)

stillinrock.com (FR) Sep 2020 Sweet Reaper, c'est (en autre) le groupe de Seth Pettersen qui a dessiné le best of août 2018 de Still in Rock (lien). Si j'en suis arrivé à ses talents de dessinateur, c'est grâce à sur sa musique sur laquelle je suis tombé un long dimanche de septembre. Accompagné de ses deux potes (Danny et Sasha), Sweet Reaper délivre une très bonne garage pop qui donnerait l'envie d'aller surfer quelques holy waves du côté de Saturne. Formé en 2016, le groupe tire son origine dans les quelques chansons de Seth que l'on retrouve sur son Bandcamp perso. On peut y lire que "Sweet Reaper is a bedroom classic recorded by Seth Pettersen while stuck at home nursing a broken ankle. With 13 of his breeziest tunes to date, Seth Pettersen shines as a true master of the surf garage pop scene. Sweet Reaper is bound to reap your heart". L'album est finalement devenu un groupe, bref, le fait est qu'il fait dans le surf et qu'il mérite son pesant de cacahuètes martiennes. Cet LP contient en effet quelques hits dont le niveau est plutôt astronomique. Sweet Reaper est de ces groupes-là, capables de véritables coups de grisou. "Reapers Back", le premier titre, est l'un des meilleurs de cet album. Simple et efficace, il fait de Sweet Reaper un Sweet Performer qui, en deux minutes à peine, vient de gagner notre écoute pour tout l'album. Et "Sidekick" de ne pas démériter non plus. L'aspect quasi power pop sur la voix de Seth Pettersen est tout à fait génial, voilà une nouvelle épopée garage pop à faire frémir les Jaccuzi Boys & co. "Isle of Life" complète le trio introductif sans la moindre gêne. L'album laisse souvent place au même rythme, ce qui a l'avantage de nous convaincre de la nécessité d'un mouvement constant. "Tapey", le 4ème morceau, est la grande réussite de cet album. Un brin plus noir que les autres, elle magnifie les aspects de surf music du Sweet Reaper. Seuls les meilleurs surfent la nuit, Sweet Reaper en est incontestablement. "Black Widow" de continuer dans un garage surf moins surprenant, mais toujours Seth vient égayer les morceaux. Sweet Reaper est brut, ses structures sont directes et il s'évite l'embarras des groupes qui veulent aller de solos en solos. Il veut performer et nous convaincre avec ses mélodies, pas sa technique. Il veut nous donner ce qu'il sait qu'on aime, c'est, en ce sens, une démarche opposée à celle de ORB (article d'hier) qui veut surprendre chaque auditeur. "Doomsday Clock" prend le relais, toujours avec cette idée de fin du monde et d'invasion. "Outta My Mind" est du même calibre, et "Spaceship" vient enfin donner sa dose d'UFO à ce très bon Sidekick. Une fois encore, c'est à mon sens lorsque Seth rapproche ses intentions de la power pop/bubblegum que Sweet Reaper est le meilleur. Le mot spaceshippppp est parfaitement étendu, on se rappelle alors le "Booored" de Magic Potion. Ce titre est huge. HUGE! "Same Old Thing" est plus rock'n'roll tandis que la conclusion est assurée par l'excellent "Jet Pilot". Le vaisseau va vite, Sweet Reaper est punk lorsqu'il veut.Beaucoup de groupes de la scène garage se concentrent sur les martiens. C'est devenu le nouveau signe de ralliement. J'ai ainsi noté l'apparition d'une scène de pop martienne il y a 2 ans environ, et celle du punk martien (il y a tout juste 15 jours). Ces scènes ont en commun de traduire un sentiment martien, leur musique semble avoir été irradié aux vaisseaux. Il n'y a rien de cela avec Sweet Reaper qui en reprend simplement l'esthétique. Non pas que ce soit problématique, mais cela veut dire que le martien est une icône naissante de la scène plus qu'un style musical ou une influence sonore. Sweet Reaper est la plus belle des confirmations de ce fait là. Son album est très bon. Lorsqu'il introduit de la bubblegum à son univers surf / garage / UFO, on frôle alors les sommets de ce que la scène garage a produit ces derniers temps. Il suffirait donc de peu pour que Sweet Reaper devienne le meilleur compagnon de vos soirées 2018/2019. Un gros label, une production mid-fi et la dose de bubble pourrait suffire à l'explosion.