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Smokers Die Younger - Smokers Die Younger

  by Fiona Hutchings

published: 31 / 3 / 2010

Smokers Die Younger - Smokers Die Younger
Label: Smokers Die Younger
Format: CD


Raw-sounding, but also evocative and accomplished second album from under-rated Sheffield-based hardcore group, Smokers Die Younger

It is a little known fact that around the millennium, on a quiet road in Nether Edge, Sheffield, a musical revolution was in its early stages. In a pertri dish of late nights and drunken twister parties the main elements of three different bands came together- the(now defunct) Texas Pete, mash up kings with itchy feet 65 Days of Static and then there was Smokers Die Younger. I spent a lot of time in those houses in Nether Edge and went to a lot of early gigs by all three bands. Ten years ago Smokers Die Younger were loud, energetic and very, VERY raw. Ten years later I am expecting an album that's unapologetic, brash and a stark statement of truth – much like their name. This second album is indeed raw but it is also tight. It hasn't been buffed to a brilliant polish in post production, but that adds to its charm and very real and human touch. These songs are well crafted stories. The album opens with 'Youth Map' which seems to draw heavily on the past glories of Joy Division and Early Pulp, but is more upbeat and less suicidal. The star of the show is undoubtedly the melodic and haunting track 'Holler If You Hear Me'. It is startlingly beautiful, rich with mournful violin and understated drums. When the autoharp, guitar and keyboard kick in it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. James Goldthorpe's delivery seems to come from his toes, the vocal slightly ruffed up (from one to many fags I suspect). Meanwhile the overlaid, ever so slightly discordant 'Drinking Song' wails "One more for the road/it's 6 in the morning/I wanna go home/We drank all the whiskey and beer" could have ended up passed out in a puddle of its own vomit. A decent song about drunkeness is as difficult to pull off as walking in a straight line with your finger on your nose, but this slightly Levellers-esque track manages it. The song cleverly ends with the sounds of the last dregs dripping away from an over turned glass abandoned at the end of the night. It is evocative and memorable. 'Red Rum' provides a noisy and abrupt ending to a very accomplished album. Personally I find the evolution of this band incredibly exciting and can only hope they are finally going to receive the attention and credit their hard work deserves.

Track Listing:-
1 Youth Map
2 Sketchpads
3 Telemark
4 Holler If You Hear Me
5 Drinking Song
6 Seconds
7 Knives
8 Bad Driving Too
9 Red Rum

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