Usually when actors have bands as their side gigs, it's more of an indulgence of an interest than an exhibition of a "secret" talent. These are oftentimes middle aged) guys who are living out their teenage fantasies to mildly packed audiences. Already coming with a fan following, these mediocre bands bank on the name and face of their lead star but very rarely have anything of substance to say. See Billy Bob Thornton, Russell Crowe, Dennis Quaid. All of that being said, I admit I went onto the Louden Swain website (lead singer is Rob Benedict of Head Case and Supernatural fame) with less than high expectations. But this is one of rare those times-- and they are one of those rare talents-- that far surpassed my expectations.
Drummer Stephen sent me a MySpace message (of all things!) asking me to check out their page and admittedly only because I recognized Rob's name, I was willing to do just that. I clicked on the streaming version of "Pop-Tart Heart," in which Rob compares a woman's heart to a toasted strawberry breakfast treat, and was instantly hooked. With killer riffs and a thumping drum beat throughout their whole album, "A Brand New Hurt," Louden Swain ROCKS. Please excuse my ignorance of other, more diverse, music vernacular but simply put, it's still true.
And they sound even better live.
Last night Louden Swain held the release party for their sophomore album at The Mint in Los Angeles, playing to a crowd of fans and friends alike. Fellow actors Josh Meyers, J.P. Manoux, and Nicole Sullivan were even spotted cheering Benedict and the boys on from the center table.
Advertised mostly through a Twitter campaign, the band opened the evening at eight p.m., performing some of their soon-to-be-hits like "All I Need," "Medicated," and of course, "Pop-Tart Heart." In between songs, Benedict entertained the crowd with background on their inspiration, as well as reminding everyone to pick up a CD and/or tee-shirt before they left for the evening.
Their set was short and sweet-- fittingly and not unlike a strawberry Pop-Tart-- but their lyrics were catchy enough to hang around long after they had packed up their gear. The guys hung around the venue to mingle and chat with those who had come out to support them, earning extra brownie points for being so cool and accessible, and they even mentioned interest in playing at upcoming charity gigs. Good guys and great music; not bad for a Tuesday night!!!
"A Brand New Hurt" is available now on the band's website, as well as iTunes. Go forth and download!!!