Brutal honesty has been a trademark of Sidewalk Dave since their 2009 debut (Songs for Cowards), and on their latest EP, Can’t Be Your Friend, the honesty continues. Brutally. “On my way to Hell, whoah, I’ll be kicking myself / On my way down that dark well, oh well,” sings Dave VanWitt on “On My Way (to Hell).” Dante Alighieri couldn’t have said it better as Virgil’s shade escorted him, canto by canto, down through the bowels of Hell. (Okay, Dante was a poetic genius so yes he could have said it better, but not much better.)
Four bars into the title track, Dave’s raw solo Telecaster is picked up and hauled off by Chris “Mudge” Dickerson’s galloping drums for a thumping romp through the rough and prickly territory of unrequited love. In the world of Sidewalk Dave, Platonic love is simply not an option, and this gem contains one of the best lines this reviewer has heard in ages: “You taste so good like peaches wet in my mustache.” Images of fiery infernos are also prevalent throughout these songs, as is the bold statement that you can’t be both wise and in love — in short, we’re all fools for love. The addition of a Wurlitzer organ (Jacob Eli Goldman) is a refreshing and sly touch on this tune.
“Love On The Loose” offers a new take on the Stones’ “Some Girls”, adding to the list: smart girls (with huge books), dull girls (with good looks), mothers, daughters, sisters — more opportunities for a slow boat to the fiery furnace, or at least lustful frustration.
“Sinister Things” is a darker meditation on wisdom, love and lust, brought about by a bit of whiskey intake. I’ve come to expect nothing less from these guys. After all, there’s a reason they’re the Beatles on whiskey.
This stalwart Connecticut band is offering the four-song EP for FREE on their Bandcamp site.