The Smith Westerns The Smith Westerns on Vinyl LP
Rummaging through 1970s glam, Phil Spector teen-pop, and Nuggets garage-punk with the youthful abandon of kids finding new toys in the attic, the Smith Westerns' self-titled debut exudes an earnestness almost as pure as its recording levels are deafening. Their simple, sweet choruses about boys and girls in love could spike the punch at a 1970s TV show school dance.
When singing guitarist Cullen Omori, his bassist brother Cameron, second guitarist Max Kakacek, and a drummer known as Hal have the tunes to make themselves heard over their vintage aesthetic, The Smith Westerns' teenage kicks are hard to beat. Take string-swept glam ballad "Be My Girl." which softly punctuates one of the year's most wrenchingly innocent hooks with somewhat risque pick-up lines. There's less lyrical subtext, but no less raunchy production, on the glam-rock boogie of "Girl in Love," a come-on cursorily addressing the fleetingness of youth. It's only fitting that the Smith Westerns both look and sound like the Black Lips' good-bad not-evil twins.
These guys are sort of literally true to their school, garage-rocker Miss Alex White is a fellow Northside College Prep magnet-school alum, and their time on the road with the likes of Jay Reatard and Nobunny is evident on fine 60s-style frat-rocker "Gimme Some Time." With fuzzed-out xylophone, frenetic opener "Dreams" suggests the group's most recent tour with Girls and Los Campesinos! might serve them better for a follow-up. "Diamond Boys" almost earns its piano on the strength of its adolescent grandiosity, but "We Stay Out" lets lo-fi become the end rather than the means, with a guitar line that sounds like a bee buzzing underwater.
The Smith Westerns The Smith Westerns Track Listing
2. Boys Are Fine
3. Gimme Some Time
4. Girl In Love
5. We Stay Out
7. Be My Girl
8. The Glam Goddess
9. Diamond Boys
10. My Heart