Friday, January 28, 2011

Smith Westerns w/Yuck & Big Surr, Tonight at The End

Posted By on Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 2:02 PM

  • Photo by Saverio Truglia
Chicago's Smith Westerns are bringing their glimmering indie-pop tunes to The End tonight. You might remember that they opened for Girls at Exit/In about a year ago; The Spin was there. Peep my pick, and listen to "Weekend" from their freshly released Dye It Blonde below.

Even by rock ‘n’ roll standards, Chicago’s Smith Westerns are kids: They’re fresh out of high school, and they’ve already released their sophomore effort, the brand-new Dye It Blonde. Occasionally, the quartet’s age shows: The unabashed, youthful glee in the lyrics of “End of the Night” is earnest as all get-out, but Smith Westerns’ knack for poppy, fuzzy riffs and interesting song construction is undeniable. Even more impressive is their ability to incorporate sophisticated influences (proto-punk and glam, most specifically) into their dazzling melodies, rich synth pads and layered vocals. The lush indie-rock tones and bobbing vocal melodies of songs like “Only One,” on the other hand, are reminiscent of latter-day rock and folk saints like The Shins and Fleet Foxes. Then you’ve got their grand pop flourishes and shimmering guitar hooks, which land easily in post-Beatles Beatles terrain — namely Harrison’s All Things Must Pass and Lennon’s John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. Lofty comparisons, sure, but these kids are ambitious and audiophillic; with just a little bit of maturation, they could easily fight their way to the top of the indie-rock heap. We’ll be watching. U.K.’s Yuck open.

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