The Unsacred Hearts draw from a wide range of influences: formative punk rock, outlaw country, warped '60s blues, Dylan rhymes and gutbucket soul to name a few. These and other musical strands are apparent in Unsacred Hearts music but never supplant the band's own original noise.
The Hearts have been writing, recording and performing since late 2003. Front-man Joe Willie started the group with hometown friends Travis Harrison (drums) and Dave Siegel (guitar) after the dissolving of their previous band for which Joe served as an outboard lyricist. Bassist/vocalist Andy Ross spent over a year in the band before joining OK Go. He was replaced in 2005 by S. Andy Bean (also of the Two Man Gentlemen Band).
On stage, the Hearts take audiences on sweaty beer-soaked joy-rides, summoning comparisons to Mitch Ryder, Guided By Voices and vintage Clash. Alongside original tunes, you'll often hear twisted reinterpretations culled from the band's repertoire of cover material. Joe Willie, always a In the studio, the Hearts challenge the limitations of their guitar-bass-drums lineup and embrace its simplicity as well. Their debut 2004 self titled EP offers seven songs in 14 minutes of full-throttle, ultra-distilled rock about rock. Their 2006 album In Defense of Fort Useless displays the use of myriad musical textures, from spare experimental country to the meanest punk.
In 2011, the Hearts released The Honor Bar, a long awaited sophomore album which puts Joe Willie's imagistic lyrics and one-of-a-kind speak-singing at the forefront. This is their most fully realized platter to date.
Watch the Hearts rock it right here:
or here ("whiskey in the fridge." Dec '07):
"The Unsacred Hearts’ concise, soulful rock is pretty much trendproof."
-Time Out NY
"Gritty, sweaty party rock"
-Time Out NY
"...we’ve long found them to be among the most entertaining bands in the city" -Stereoactive NYC
"CMJ means a lot of different things to a lot of different people," said The Unsacred Hearts‘ frontman, Joe , the Pianos stage tonight. His subtle but unmissable note of sarcasm made it very easy to tell what the festival—and its attendant hoopla—meant to him: business as usual. The Hearts, a joyously unhinged quartet whose brief tunes neatly summarize the last half century of rock & roll, might have been playing Manhattan’s trendiest neighborhood on the eve of one of its most cutthroat popularity contests. But they weren’t pandering to anybody."
Hank, Time Out NY TONY blog
"The Unsacred Hearts took the stage, grabbed it by the throat and never let go for a second. Their loud, fast, and scientific sound is equally drawn from post-punk sources like Gang of Four and the Fall, pre-punk bands like Dead Boys and Electric Eels, and more modern-day acts like Rocket from the Crypt. Led by singer Joe Willie, who jumped, strutted, and raised hell while spitting out his dead-serious lyrics like a cross between Roger Daltrey and Stiv Bators, the band was razor sharp and dangerous. Travis Harrison on drums played like he was on fire, guitarist Dave Siegel reeled off angular chords and the noise they made wasn’t joyous exactly, but it did feel like you were being lifted off the floor an inch at a time."
"The Unsacred Hearts, for whom The Deli has had much love, were blowing up the stage as I walked in. They're less of a band than they are UPS delivery-men each song a neat little 3 minute package of tight catchy riffs and shout/sung lyrics. Each song was like getting a hallmark card from your Nana but instead of there being a ten dollar bill inside it just says "Fuck you." The Deli Magazine blog
"...And speaking of raucous, the stage was basically treated like one of those inflatable moon-jump things you see at carnivals and the drumset was like a mini-trampoline with frontman Joe Willie leaping on and off it at will. But while this was all entertaining, it was, of course, the music that really rocked the place..." StereoactiveNYC
"The Unsacred Hearts take their music wherever they damn well feel like, and they do it with a certainty and swagger that is becoming rare." Indie Music Project
"I discovered that...The Unsacred Hearts have a song called "I Am Joe" (their singer's name is Joe Willie). And that led me on a wild journey through their back catalog during which I fell for their elastic, spastic sound and booze-soaked narratives." Sam, 3Hive