Pennyblackmusic Presents: Johny Brown (Band of Holy Joy) - With Hector Gannet and Andy Thompson @The Water Rats, London, Saturday 25, May, 2024

Headlining are Johny Brown (Band of Holy Joy) With support from Hector Gannet And Andy Thompson
Hosted at the Water Rats London , Saturday 25th May, 2024. Doors open 7:30pm. First band on at 8:00pm; Admission £15 on the door or £12 in advance from We got Tickets
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Smile - Wall of Eyes

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 8 / 3 / 2024

Smile - Wall of Eyes
Label: XL Recordings
Format: CD


Cinematic second studio album from The Smile. the new project of Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood

The Smile began as a lockdown side-project for Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood but, increasingly, this is becoming the main event for both these talented performers. As members of Oxford band Radiohead, singer Yorke and guitarist Greenwood were behind classics like ‘The Bends’ and ‘OK Computer’ but, whilst Radiohead have been relatively quiet since 2016's ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’, The Smile have been quite prolific! With the support of Tom Skinner, an exceptional jazz drummer, The Smile have made two studio LPs and two live albums within just twenty months and they now have a 2024 tour scheduled from Spring to Summer, too. The Smile's latest album release, ‘Wall of Eyes’ may not have any truly infectious hooks but, for those willng to give a little time to absorbing the duo's beautifully crafted pieces of music, it is a rewarding listen. Some Radiohead fans may miss Ed O'Brien's backing vocals or Colin Greenwood's bass lines – but The Smile's work is innovative and interesting with some beautiful acoustic Americana, the title track's catchy Latin swing and the richness of the strings of the London Contemporary Orchestra. Most of the tracks are songs that have been tested on live tours and the musicianship has a natural, road-hardened flow. On ‘Read The Room’Greenwood reaffirms his stature as an inventive rock musician and the centrepiece is ‘Bending Hectic’, an eight-minute melodrama opening with folky guitar before switching into a gnarly rocker. It talks of driving through Italy in “a vintage soft-top from the Sixties”, approaching a hairpin bend on a mountain and flirting with death before pulling back from the brink. “Despite these slings, despite these arrows, I force myself to turn,” Yorke sings. Of course, Yorke is noted for his rather gloomy, paranoid, glass half-empty lyric- writing. In part, this quality no doubt helped him in his successful film soundtrack work with Greenwood. Yorke wrote the score for 2018's ‘Suspiria’ and Greenwood received an Oscar nomination for the soundtrack of ‘Phantom Thread’. These cinematic music skills are evident throughout ‘Wall of Eyes’ which is a very accomplished album.

Track Listing:-
1 Wall Of Eyes
2 Teleharmonic
3 Read The Room
4 Under Our Pillows
5 Friend Of A Friend
6 I Quit
7 Bending Hectic
8 You Know Me!

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