Saturday, May 15, 2010

Smoke It 'n' Die - Wondering If

Hear The Track Here

Now that's the kind of warning they should give out on cigarette packs, the raw, unvarnished truth. Behind this rather alarming name, however, lurks a familiar friendly face - none other than Cockney caperer Howard Billington who has become a very respected singer and songwriter in a very short space of time. So, Smoke It 'n' Die?? Apparently a three piece consisting of Howard supplying vocals and guitars, Barrie Leigh on drums and Louis Marshall on bass. Howard also appears to be the main songwriter so is this actually Howard's band? or some kind of side project? Or maybe even a mixture of both. Anyway, mere speculation won't get the job done so lets crack on...

Although Wondering If is classed as rock, it bears more likeness to good old fashioned punk rock than the usual guitar wankery, a genre Howard has been known to get into in his solo work. Mind you, that's just the merest skating on the surface because the bulk of the track is so much more than that. As a Londoner, as I've mentioned before with this musician, I recognise the sound of my own and musically this could come in a straight line as the bastard child of the pop of The Stranglers, the raucousness of The Clash and The Damned and Bowie-style rock structures, all with a definable London sound about them. Therefore it could mean this will only appeal to me and others like me, and nothing could be further from the truth.

One thing I do like about Howard Billington as a songwriter is that the man has undeniable talent for the right line in the right place as his solo work shows, Wondering If zips by at such a clip you'd give yourself multiple whiplash if you tried to keep up with it, you'd be better served strapping a rocket to your ass to get the kind of speed necessary to keep up with this when its motoring. This is the title track for an EP and I am stunned that Smoke It 'n' Die managed to accumulate some 146 tracks on their Soundclick page without me cottoning on to it. Damn, that must really mean that I am getting as old as I feel. Mind you, I have the remedy for that. HoBi (think about it) solo, or in the new unrestrained version? Naaahh, I'll take both and don't bother with the wrapping...

Punk? Rock? You Decide... MUST HAVE (I did obviously) scorcher.

No comments: