10/17/2014

CD Review: Wild Smiles - Always tomorrow

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Short introduction

The fast-rising trio Wild Smiles comprises the brothers Chris and Joe Peden with drummer Ben Cook.  Hailing from Winchester, Wild Smiles were amazed when their first forays made such a splash. Their 2013 7”, Sweet Sixteen/Tangled Hair, took in elements of Beach Boys surf pop, Velvet Underground drones, Wall Of Sound beats, Jesus & Mary Chain low-fi garage clatter and Nirvana filth. A dazzling stew of sound, it was simultaneously classic, timely and forward thinking – it seemed amazing no one had smashed such sprawling decades of music together before.

A five-track Wild Smiles EP followed on Geoff Barrow’s Invada label that summer, led by the MBV-flecked Take Me Away, and, in that song’s spirit of escape, the band hit the road for much of the rest of the year, earning their touring chops before going on to sign with Sunday Best. Wild Smiles then took time out to concentrate on honing their songwriting on their debut album "Always tomorrow".

(c) Wild Smiles, used with kind permission


Lyrically the album traces a thematic arc of growing up and getting out, the struggles of the debt-heavy, priced-out youth generation. Indeed, many of the songs on the album tackle issues that most other young bands are too scared or ignorant of to approach.

“People my age can't get a job,” Chris sings. “Nothing to do, it’s so fucked up/People my age can't get a job/Get a house, get a car, get a life… who’s there for us?” While I’m Gone and the single, Never Wanted This, are bold rejections of the mundane sort of life we’re expected to settle for: “I could get a job I could wear a suit/A monkey in a suit to make some money”.
“It’s our perception of life,” says Ben. “Not the voice of a generation but just how we three see it.”

Summary / Player / Download Link

Classic Rock 'n' Roll all the way straight from the beginning to the end! That's what comes to my mind when listening to this album. If you're into such classic bands like the Ramones you should hit the play button without doubt. It's dirty Rock with hammering guitars and raunchy vocals that perfectly fit for the next party.

The groove is very direct along with he bass guitar lines. The album has few diverse parts in them, it comes around as direct as it could be. You could even imagine to listen to a live show that's cut into songs while played in the studio without audience. But sure as it is, if you dislike such stuff because you prefer heavier stuff you won't be happy with this one. Try it out, I've had a good time
with this album.

The full album stream isn't up yet, so I've put the tracks here that are available so far. If there should be a stream of the whole record that comes from the band or label I'll update the review and include it here.

Update 2014/10/22: Finally the full album stream is up! Head over to the Consequence of Sound website to hear it.

Update 2014/10/27: Today is the release date of the record. So I've added the full album stream for you to enjoy while (hopefully) reading my review.


The album will see the release on Sunday Best Recordings on 27th October. Just jump over to get a copy on CD or have a look at the digital download offer.
You can stay in touch with the band through their website, Facebook or the Twitter account.

Track-by-Track Review

Fool For You
This one goes in straight forward and gives you a good idea of what this band is all about. A hard riff opens this one up, the rest of the band quickly kicks in directly after that.
The refrain hits your ears without warning and won't leave it that fast anymore. A very classic way to write such a song. Some repeats of the refrain and the end comes fast and direct.

Never Wanted This 
A slower start. The typical way to get a hymn started. The refrain is also a bit slower but with much roughness in the guitars. It then comes back to the formula of the beginning.
Once again a song to be remembered.

Always Tomorrow
1-2-3-4 you can imagine the drummer to count before a hit on the snare drum starts this one. A straight riff rocker. The refrain comes very embeded into the song structure so the song remains once piece from the beginning to the end.

Everyone’s The Same
The Rock scheme of the past three songs is left for a while. A midtemo stomping track with some easy guitars and spacy vocals. The end leaves you with some vibrating guitars and fades the track softly to the end

Hold On
Yeah, we're back on track the rhythm seems to scream. Very dirty and hard guitars gives this one a lot of drive. Some variations on the vocals before more loud guitars push one back to the ground.

The Best Four Years
A change of rhythm once again. A bit slower but very punchy in style this song is a mid-tempo Rock song in a very classic way. The guitars scream it out very loud. Feels ike some look back on a good time. Surprisingly a "long" song compared to the other tracks of the record.

The Gun
A straight rocker right from the start, the guitars create a hook in the ears while the vocals are a bit more dry on this one. Not so much reverb mixed in here. Anyway it feels a bit different from the rest.

Figure It Out
Wow, this rushes out very fast. The band kicks it very heavy on this one. Pretty near to Metal this one goes.  The refrain is very catchy again. Reminds me a bit of old Nirvana songs.

Girlfriend
I'm out with my girlfriend and we're having a good time this one shouts out. A very direct tune, no hidden catch just jump on the train and have fun. This one has a great refrain and is instantly on my mind since the first listen. If you're feeling down play this one LOUD and you'll feel better. A potion of fresh air will come your way.

See You Again
The amp screams a bit at the beginning. The evening with the girlfriend is over but you can be sure you'll see each other again. Once again a very dirty and distinctive sounding piece of Rock music, the refrain is soft but fits very good to the mood.

I’m Gone
The band returns for one more song before the show is over. But there's no complaining in sight. Instead the band rocks it out 'till the end. A last rockin' greeting but the refrain gives hope we'll see a return.
I hope we'll hear again from this band. Never thought a band would come around with such a direct straight on forward album these days but happily Wild Smiles have presevered this original Rock 'n' Roll style in their hearts.

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