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Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde

  by Paul Waller

published: 3 / 5 / 2011

Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
Label: Weird World
Format: CD


Glossy and overstated second album from Chicago-based stoner band, the Smith Westerns

Chicago’s the Smith Westerns released a great big sleeper of a self-titled album back in 2009. It was rough and ready, sure, but if ever there was a stoner’s wild card that was it. Not being a drugged out teen myself, it took me a little while to sink my teeth into, but when I finally got it I discovered many a great hook that eventually soundtracked my summer in 2010. So how does 'Dye It Blonde' stand up against it? Well, it’s a little shinier and a little more tweaked in the studio, but the band still possess that dreamy quality yet it doesn’t connect as well with me this time around. They have laid it on thick as mud here with the sweeping vocal harmonies that never quite soar as much as you want them to. And the distortion on the guitar is a little to clean and clinical. Sounds to me like they got a little (not a lot, mind you) of cash to spend this time around. The up-tempo tracks such as 'Fallen In Love' and album opener 'Weekend' may well go down well at the indie clubs after a few bevvies, but it would be a fleeting foot tap that the songs deserve rather than a full on booty shake. It’s the slower, more heartfelt songs that won me over with 'Dye It Blonde'. The title track is slow burning drifter of a track which reminds me of early 90’s Flaming Lips at their most drugged out and dreamiest. 'Smile' is another sublime slice of drifting hazy pop. If Built To Spill wrote a song as good I may well begin to listen to them again. It’s easily my favourite moment on the album and, whilst the album itself may not play a massive role in my listening habits this summer, I know that this track will. It’s joyous to the point of raising hairs on the back of my neck. Where does the band go from here? Well if it’s on a similar path as Smile then I am on board.

Track Listing:-
1 Weekend
2 Still New
3 Imagine Pt. 3
4 All Die Young
5 Fallen In Love
6 End Of The Night
7 Only One
8 Smile
9 Dance Away
10 Dye The World

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