“Smith Westerns” – Smith Westerns

This was one of the albums that I was going to skip, but I’ve got some spare time so I thought I may as well do a review of it. To start off, I like lo-fi music, there’s something really honest and amateur about it and when it’s done well (The Antlers, Bon Iver) the album seems more personal.

The Smith Westerns have made a lo-fi indie-rock album and at times the song writing is as good as any other band, but the real problem with the album is its execution and the disappointment of listening to songs that sound half finished.

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Smith Westerns - "Smith Westerns"

Smith Westerns - "Smith Westerns"

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The album cover uses other album covers but I can only really recognise ‘Nevermind’, I’m not sure how they got it past copyright to be perfectly honest. These guys are in their teens and they do show a lot of potential, but note the word potential, if you want to listen to a good album, then don’t bother.

I was extremely disappointed with the album, sure you can definitely hear that these guys have some serious song writing skills, but as I said before the execution is way off and this causes the songs to sound rushed and almost incomplete.

There are a few “gems” here, and the one that stands out most is “Be My Girl”, its a slower paced song that’s simple and could be a seriously good song. But again the low quality just makes the song sound bad and although this may be because of the recording equipment, there isn’t that personal vibe that transforms the low quality into something sweet.

These guys got a write up on Pitchfork and this really shows that the band could be going places and the only thing that I see that’s stopping them is the fact this album seems shallow and quite amateur. I don’t really want to bag the band too much, because I do actually like a few of the songs, but the album itself is not up to the standard and the band really suffers.

Remember the name Smith Westerns, because you probably won’t remember them after this album, but keep them in your mind because I’ve got a feeling that if they get the recording process right, the next few albums could be great.

I suppose I should give it a rating, I’m being a bit picky but I think a 4/10 is what I think of the album.

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~ by Michael Hodder on July 2, 2009.

2 Responses to ““Smith Westerns” – Smith Westerns”

  1. thats the deal with lofi music that
    you record a song with low quality

    if you dont you can do a well produced album like bon iver ( i love bon iver but i cant see any lofi recordings / his breakthrough album isnt recorded on an 4 track recorder.

  2. Thanks for this review and the mention of the notable album art. I’ve written about it at our blog and referenced your review.

    Please let me know if you come across other interesting album covers. I’ll give you a link back to your blog.

    http://blog.albumartexchange.com/2009/07/more-recycled-album-art.html

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