Review: Smith Street Band | Throw me in the River

If I went on a date with a guy and he was playing this album when he picked me up, I would start planning our life together, there and then. Let this not be an indication of my hasty mate choice but the integrity of the Smith Street Band and their third record, Throw Me In The River.

This strikingly honest album is the follow up to EP Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams, where their switch from studio band to live band recording is much appreciated. One minute in to this album you would be forgiven for thinking it was an album of Aussie folk songs, before the inevitable big chorus drops in. Front-man Wil Wagner self confesses to the first verse, big chorus, drop out the start of the second verse, build up, drop out and a heavy bit song structure and this album will give you just that. High-energy jams follow provoking lyrics. It’s really the musical interpretation of emotional progression felt listening to the lyrical stories. Their signature folk-punk sound is as dynamic as ever, as rough as you would expect but trimmed on the edges, resulting in a well-rounded and articulate listening experience.

Get High See No One is the self-explanatory and musical embodiment of the pit we’ve all fallen into while coming to terms with circumstances reality has pushed us into. The succeeding I Don’t Wanna Die confesses, “leaving isn’t what I came here for” angrily verbalising the trepidation of mortality and the beautiful struggle to make all that we can of this life.

The album’s namesake confronts the inherent human need for acknowledgement, the feeling to be needed, the physical pain of having your heart broken and the conflict that ensues when you’ve had the warm blanket of love ripped from you, in the most nonchalant Melbourne way possible.

Their whole-band writing style and inclusiveness shines through on this record. At its end you feel exhausted, relieved and grateful. This is going to be the music us 20-somethings will be drunkenly singing along to at our kids’ 21sts after we highjack the super-tech equivalent of the jukebox.

Brisbane’s Hi-Fi is one of the last shows not sold out, so do your soul a favour and check these dudes out on Friday the 21st of November.

I’ll be the girl at the back screaming along to the lyrics with tears streaming down my face.

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