Smith Westerns debuted two years ago with a promising album. The members of the band were still in their teens, and thus lacked the musical skills necessary to make a lasting impression, but the untitled first album of the band definitely sounded fresh and passionate and made no secret of a broad range of musical influences.
The first album was dominated by influences from 70s garage rock, psychedelics, lo-fi, glam, and punk rock resulting in a set of simple but effective songs. Smith Westerns matured during the last two years and gained the musical experience that was lacking on their first cd. The second cd of the band, Dye It Blond, not only sounds more mature but also takes the music of the band to a higher level.
Dye It Blond offers more musical influences and a sound that explores a broader musical territory due to the use of organs and keyboards. Dye It Blond tells a different story than its predecessor, it provides us with almost perfect rock and pop songs. While sounding like a lost 70s treasure, the music of Smith Westerns also connects to the music of the best American indie bands of 2010 such as The Soft Pack, Wavves, Local Natives, and Girls. Several critics have described the new sound of Smith Westerns as Mott The Hoople with a fresh layer of paint, but that’s only a part of the complete story if you ask me. Smith Westerns seems to be familiar with the complete history of British Rock. Influences from The Beatles and The Kinks are as common as influences from Mott The Hoople and T. Rex, or even Suede and Oasis. The influences from 60s psychedelics did not disappear either.
The youngsters of Smith Westerns seem to know all the Nugget boxes with West Coast psychedelics by heart and do not stick with influences from the past. Dye It Blonde sounds like a 70s rock record but is so fresh it has the potential to be the record of the summer 2011. There are many bands like Smith Westerns but few that manage to combine musical influences from decades in a sound that can be described as authentic and fresh. A pleasant surprise.
This contribution was also posted on dekrentenuitdepop.blogspot.com