Do you like your music loud, emotional and a little bit in-your-face? Because that’s exactly what The Smith Street Band specialise in, and their latest effort, Throw Me in the River, is no exception. The opening track, ‘Something I Can Hold in My Hands’, is something of an emotional rollercoaster – vocalist Wil Wagner effortlessly alternates between a soft croon and full-on shouting. It sounds excellent.
The Smith Street Band come across as a very Aussie pub-rock band, but mixed in is a very punky guitar tone and vocal style – think Sex Pistols, except refined and sporting a thick Aussie accent. It’s an excellent mix; every track grabs you and takes you along for the ride. It’s high energy, a little bit rough around the edges in places and typically Aussie – nothing says “Australian music” like using “shitstorm” as a prominent lyric.
The band pulls it all off perfectly. Their appeal lies in their high energy, slightly cheeky attitude, and if you have an inclination towards punk, you’ll find yourself having an absolute ball listening to the album. Wagner’s vocals are the heart of the album, and he absolutely dominates every track – a significant achievement, considering the sheer volume of Lee Hartney’s guitar tracks.
All things considered, Throw Me in the River’s 11 tracks will either punch you in the face or calm you down with a soothing croon. Or, like the titular track, it’ll do both. Either way, you’re in for one hell of a ride.
By Alastair McGibbon