Day 20: Smith Westerns – Dye it Blonde

20 Mar

End of the Night

Inconsistency seems to be a pretty big problem for bands today.  I guess in the age of the MP3 blog and the digital single, solid albums have become a little less important to both bands and the music consumer.  I still like to think that the smaller bands that I tend to listen to care more about releasing great albums, but it seems that even these groups are drifting toward the great, powerful, single song, as opposed to an all-around great record.  That’s rather unfortunate for a blogger whose objective is to listen to an album every day.

On Dye it Blonde, the second record by Smith Westerns, there are definitely a few great songs.  End of the Night is an awesome, fast-tempo song, with some, very catchy synths backing it up.  Smile, a little slower, has great, infectious group chants, and captivating, dreamy guitars.  Unfortunately, outside of those two tracks, I couldn’t find much to get behind on the record.  The rest of the album is somewhat boring, unoriginal synth-pop.

Smith Westerns released their first album by themselves, without the help of a label.  That album got some hype, and soon enough, the band signed a deal with record company Fat Possum.  Dye it Blonde was pushed out not long after that.  It seems to me that both the band and label were trying to capitalize on the hype surrounding that first album.  They came up with a few songs that would make their way around the blog-circuit, and used those to push the new album.  I want to check out that first album now, though.  I want to see if they’ve always been inconsistent, or if I’m right about the band and label’s effort to capitalize on hype.

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