Album Review: Smith Westerns - 'Dye It Blonde'
Caution: awesome guitar solos approaching
Even though it bears the hallmarks of classic [a]Oasis[/a], [a]Suede[/a], [a]T-Rex[/a] and solo [a]John Lennon[/a] and George Harrison, it is not a backwards-looking album. It exists in the here and now, and it should really be celebrated because it’s been a long, long while since any band has so deftly penned a collection of songs which make you yearn to play along, hum along and – ultimately – sing along. Teaming them up with producer Chris Coady, who helmed [a]Beach House[/a]’s [b]‘Teen Dream’[/b], is the key to the record’s zing.
His work on [b]‘Dye It Blonde’[/b] is exactly as you’d hope it would be – taking Smith Westerns’ ragged fuzz, spit-shining it, pushing Cullen Omori’s faint vocals right up and dropping heavy, heavy dream-synths all over the place. All that was left for the band to do – or mainly guitarist Max Kakacek – was to come up with the best, most anthemic guitar sounds possible. Well, wouldn’t you?
Obviously, Kakacek looked directly to: the beginning of [b]‘Metal Guru’[/b], [b]‘Champagne Supernova’[/b], [b]‘Another Girl, Another Planet’[/b], [b]‘Wah Wah’[/b] and [b]‘Everything Flows’[/b]. No need for anything else. Every song here features at least three amazing guitar bursts – euphoric little solos that drive the whole thing. The best moments are the [b]‘Mind Games’[/b]-aping [b]‘All Die Young’[/b], the swoonsome [b]‘Still New’[/b], and [b]‘Only One’[/b], which sounds like a lost Gallagher B-side. Smith Westerns might not play barre chords, but they’re properly good songwriters – smart kids with mean tunes, sharp minds and great record collections.
Order a copy of Smith Westerns' 'Dye It Blonde' from Amazon
Check out Smith Westerns playing live at SXSW
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday
- Previous Album Review : Album Review: Waka Flocka Flame - 'Flockaveli'
- Next Album Review : Album Review: Fleet Foxes - 'Helplessness Blues'