Smith Westerns LP reviewed by Mike Wolf

Music Reviews
Smith Westerns LP reviewed by Mike Wolf
Nov 29, 2009, 17:37



It's a shame this Chicago quartet is bound to get lost among the throngs of other frayed and spirited garage-pop bands that everyone seems to be noticing all sort of a sudden. What's that? There's a bidding war on for the Smith Westerns? Huh, we do live in remarkable times. Well, don't let that dissuade you—this full-breadth debut is great and just shy of mindless in the best way, and for that matter it puts the lie to “lo-fi”: the Smith Westerns are recorded just fine, things are simply a little distorty in there.

No one yet has failed to mention that these guys are, scandalously, only as old as they are. But that's why their vrai-naïf power is so unstoppable: It's as if they themselves might not have expected their JD-bubblegum hits—sample titles: “Dreams;” “Tonight;” “Be My Girl;” “My Heart” (the only thing missing is a shrug emoticon)—to come out this good. Apart from the winning ringing and strumming, and the multiple (and impressive) T. Rexeries, like the drunken swagger-groove of “Girl in Love,” it's a song like “We Stay Out” that makes you willing to bet that the Smith Westerns have more good records in them. It opens with watery guitar effects that suggest someone downed enough Pabst to try and cover “Monster Mash,” but the resulting swill has a not-quite-seasick charm that points to potential pop genius emerging from the pack. Go kids! [HoZac]

-Mike Wolf

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