Record Review: Smith Westerns

Smith Westerns
Dye It Blonde
Chicago, IL

“Youthful band creates complex sounds”

Smith Westerns combine innocence and freshness of youth on their sophomore release Dye It Blonde. With glam and pop sounds reminiscent of Ben Kweller, The Beatles, The Hollies and T. Rex, they effortlessly craft unique layers of sound. Cullen Omori keeps the vocals soft but clear, and the hooks are everywhere, drawing you into their indie pop world.

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“Weekend” opens the record with influences so strong on Kakacek’s guitar lead that it sounds like George Harrison and Marc Bolan have been resurrected. “Still New,” and the tracks that follow, bring in orchestrated rhythm guitar-created arrangements. “Imagine Pt. 3” adds keyboards into the mix, as well as amazing harmonizing, into a very danceable song that evokes the classic “Wall of Sound.”

About halfway through the album, the sound goes from indie pop to ultra-glam with vocals similar to John Lennon’s softer sounds and harmonizing guitar sounds that could be found on any Queen or Thin Lizzy disc. “End of The Night” sounds like it’s straight from ’70s radio, and “Only One” could be any young person’s first love song. “Dance Away” brings back strong guitar sounds. “Dye The World” finishes the album out with a hymn that inspires swaying. (Fat Possum Records)

Recorded at Magic Shop, NY and Water Music, Hoboken, NJ // Mixed at Carriage House, Stamford, CT // Produced, mixed and recorded by Chris Coady // Additional engineering by Patrick Canaday, Brian Thorn // Assistant engineering by Patrick Canaday, Sean Kelly

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