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Smith Westerns
Smith Westerns [reissue] - Fat Possum
FILTER Grade: 84%

By Kyle MacKinnel on December 21, 2010


Smith Westerns

In the pages of Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, R.P. McMurphy tells junior psych patient Billy Bibbit, “You oughta be out in a convertible, why…bird-doggin’ chicks and bangin’ beaver.” Although such hot-to-trot specifics are let to lie on Smith Westerns’ 2009 debut (given an early reboot here by Fat Possum as we eagerly await the band’s next move), the youthful zeal of McMurphy’s urgings pulses beneath each fuzzy note, and it’s enough to drive the point home. These four Chicagoans are still a wink removed from drinking legally but have no intentions of wasting any time. Quickly emerging through a thicket of distortion, the adolescent pining is the record’s most refreshing asset: a full LP’s-worth of inspired songcraft. What’s more, the influences here are good ones. Tracks like “Girl In Love,” “Be My Girl” and “Diamond Boys” conjure a smoky Ziggy Stardust poster in a basement hotbox. Smith Westerns may have just pulled out of the garage but you can be sure that the top is already down.

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