“Sweetass’s self-proclaimed noise pop label is without irony. Evident from their album, Wa CayaLu, the band has successfully married sonic chaos and big, big melodies. Consisting of James Rivers on Drums, Zaki Ibrahim on guitars, Azlan Ariff on bass and Alang Sekitar belting out vocals while strumming rhythms, the band waves the flag of catchiness with pride. They’re a timeless reminder that teeth-grinding distortions and fuzz pedals are like peanuts – seemingly impenetrable hard shells can contain a surprisingly delicious & edible center.
At risk of sounding like a food commercial, Sweetass also describes their sound as “haruan cina noise”, an ode to the rare and mysterious chinese snakehead fish. Their 2018 single “Haruan Cina” sheds some light on this through their lyrics about being patient when manningyour fishing rod – someday these fishes will bite. Beauty is everywhere, man, even in noise. You’re just not paying attention. This wholesome Michael Jackson-esque message is also found in their song “Aria”. Straight from their debut, “Aria” is a subtle working-class anthem channeled through a lazy slacker drawl. It’s all about tuning out life’s humdrum after a hard day’s work, while kicking it up with a choice beverage.
““Aria” is about our favourite after work haunt; that one special place where the staff know you by name and treat you like family. The owner told us he was going to engrave our names into a table there because he was so touched when he heard it. Whether you know the place or not we intend this song to bring those same homely familial and familiar vibes to whoever is listening”, said the band in a statement.
The music video, directed by Adam Mutahir, is a sweetass tribute to this very feeling, now complete with the adolescent urge to escape. There are very few sensations that can compare with listening to your favourite band on your headphones, pretending for a good few minutes that you’ve beaten the rat race like the grunge star your parents/wife/ustaz say you will never be. The revolution starts in your brain: let the guitar feedback tune out society’s feedback, and smash that air guitar like it costs nothing.”
– Zim Ahmadi, Awful Track Records.