Launching the second album of their young careers, lanky Illinois punk trio Smith Westerns are proud to present ‘Dye it Blonde’ a toe-tappingly tasteful, twelve-track homage to 90’s Britpop.
Channeling a signature low-fi alt. rock noise, which came straight outta Great Britain at the peak of Oasis, Blur, The Verve and Stereophonic’s hay day, Chicago-based outfit Smith Westerns have taken a winning formula and applied it to their latest and freshest material. Centering anthem-infused choruses around electric guitar solos, which sporadically howl and prominently ebb their way with honest lament through this second album, a mature, progressive sound is achieved.
Maintaining the washed-out, feel-good, basement-coined beats the band first arrived with, brothers Cameron and Cullen Omori and Max Kakacek have developed the solid musical foundations they first laid claim to with their debut, self-titled studio album. Releasing this braver, more polished representation of their impressive ability, the music is more refined, the lyrics more poignant and the general finish much cleaner. The result of time spent working tirelessly alongside producer heavyweight Chris Coady, the lads no longer need to huddle down in Max’s crampt basement struggling to capture a demo in a GarageBand session. Their talent has been recognised and their creativity harnessed. Impatient to get the reaction they want, Cullen says their main intention was to write catchy choruses that didn’t overpower a track but didn’t meander aimlessly inbetween verses. “We write parts and then layer vocals, choruses or melodies until they fit togther. The writing process was so disjointed that every verse was like a mini chorus. In my opinion that’s the goal of making a perfect pop song.”
First discovered by Jay Reatard and going on to play alongside MGMT, Los Compenios and Girls, i-D Online caught up with the Smith Westerns to find out if it’s all groupies, parties and getting punked now they’re headlining the stages they used to stare up at.
‘Dye It Blonde’ is available now.