CD Review: Dye It Blonde [2011]


Band:
Smith Westerns
Release: 1/2011
Label:
Fat Possum

1. “Weekend” – [A]
2. “Still New” – [A-]
3. “Imagine Pt. 3” – [A]
4. “All Die Young” – [A-]
5. “Fallen In Love” – [A-]
6. “End of the Night” -[A]
7. “Only One” – [A]
8. “Smile” – [A-]
9. “Dance Away” – [A]
10. “Dye the World” – [A-]

Comments: Smith Westerns are a band that, like label-mates Wavves in 2010, benefited immensely from a bigger studio budget. The clarity and direction on Dye It Blonde is a thing of beauty. Stylistically, this is something of a neo-psychedelic or psychedelic pop record, quite a few LSD blotters more psychedelic than the trippiest offerings from Magic Kids, but not as pop-sensible as say former tour partner MGMT. One thing that persists from the start of the record is that clean lead guitar effect, which sounds good, but is a bit overused. “Weekend” and “Imagine Pt. 3” have qualities that immediately hit ‘ya, so with good reason these tracks were made available before the official release. “Dance Away” may be the album’s most experimental track, but in the strangest way possible: it’s the fastest, most accessible, and most randomly discombobulated recording on here. Sounds like it’s going for that Diana Ross “Upside Down” disco meets ’90s Ricky Martin feel. Anyway, this is a record to remember. Fuck, it ain’t even 2011 yet so to make any predictions about this being in contention for Best of 2011 would be wildly erratic and unbecoming. I will say it’s the best thing from 2011 that I heard in 2010. K?

Grade: A- (92)