Hear The Track Here(Ed: Oh hello! I know you didn't expect to find me here but Gilmore went to have a little lie down. He's complaining that he's review punch drunk. He took one look at the next track in line, his eyes bugged out and he went even greyer than he normally is, which btw is probably a scary enough picture. Anyway, wait there, I'll go take him a nice cup of tea and let him know you are here.) Doesn't seem like two minutes ago since I reviewed The Last Pop Song (July 2010) (Ed: that's because it was two minutes ago numbnuts now stop waffling and get on with it). I blame Howard Billington myself. Ever since he first romped his way into my life with He Stole My Girl (January 2010), he has become a fixture in my playlists both for reviews and for personal listening. Why? Well, I finished the review of He Stole My Girl by foaming at the mouth and shouting 'genius!' to anyone who would listen. While he hasn't topped that initial high (as yet), his band - the above mentioned Smoke It 'n' Die - have more than made up for the (extremely small) deficit. After all, two Must Haves out of three tracks isn't bad going by anyone's standards.
Howard warned me that this is a bit of a departure from the usual style, but I can't see that. 'It's a little more rock then I usually care to go' is how he put it and I can see where that is coming from but considering that The Last Pop Song was distinctly punk rock flavoured, this isn't much farther down the rock road. Part of the appeal of Smoke It 'n' Die tracks is their spontaneous feel, the immediacy of the moment which - when coupled with Howard's superb songwriting skills - make for more than a listening experience. I've yet to hear a track from this quarter that didn't press all my buttons, and Keep Going On - despite its demo tag - is exactly what I have come to expect from this distinctive and different outfit.
Abser-fekkin-lootly biased to the eyeballs,eh? Damn straight. I know a good thing when I hear it and I should probably add that I do like music to have a bit of a loose, out of control feel, and Keep Going On is right up there in the will they/won't they stakes. Ultimately, I admit that Smoke It 'n' Die may very well be a personal thing and that their distinctly English sound and style won't appeal to all comers but they will certainly appeal to anyone who likes their music with warmth, heart and a joyous sense of fun that is infectious to a fault. If this was indeed a demo, then I can't wait to hear what the real thing will sound like because IMHO what I am hearing here is one of Howard's better songs and - given the boys canon - that's saying something.
Highly Recommended Britpop. Music as fun. Remember that?