Smith Westerns | WEIRD001 | Released: 02/05/11
Hailing from Chicago, Smith Westerns are brothers Cullen and Cameron Omori (Vocals / Guitar and Bass, respectively) and Max Kakacek (Guitar) who, at the time of recording Dye It Blonde all happened to still be under 21, an element which has undeniably informed their sound on this ambitious and restless new record which has been produced and engineered by Chris Coady (Beach House, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV On The Radio).
Where their first record, the home recorded, self titled effort released in 1999, was purposefully rough around the edges and played as a frayed fusion of Bolan era glam and warped Nuggets-era 1960s garage, Dye It Blonde is a louder, more ostentatious piece of work. Full of classic pop melodicism, imbued with an authentic Britpop brattiness, Dye It Blonde feels like an epic, grand statement, and yet there's a wonkiness at play here which makes things feel slightly woozy and off kilter.
If you need any convincing take a listen to the first single "Weekend", a song that sounds so instant it makes you feel as if you've grown up with it's achingly lovelorn, insanely catchy harmonies and an instant classic of a guitar line. "Weekend" is basically one of those songs that sounds as if it was tailor made to soundtrack a teenagers life, and will make older folks reimagine their teen years in a far more romantic, dewy eyed way.