Sunday, February 27, 2011

Smoke It 'n' Die - Summer Revival

Hear The Track Here

Out of all the new artists I have encountered over the past couple of years at Soundclick, none have measured up to the pop phenomenon known to us as Howard Billington, and of course, Smoke It 'n' Die. Summer Revival is another track from the excellent Joyful In Defiance album and if there is an accurate descriptive word for this songwriters work, it would have to be joyful. Howard and the band have endeared themselves to Soundclick regulars because their music is so defiantly upbeat, so damn cheerful you can't help grinning at it bounding along like a week old puppy. It one of the reasons the band have so many Must Have's under their collective belts already and I am sure their will be many more.

Can't say that Summer Revival is going to score that highly though, although it isn't the fault of the song, more the extremely lo-fi and kinda sloppy approach to the music and - of particular note - the vocals. I say that because, to me anyway, the vocals are a major part of the enjoyment of a Smoke It track because - when all is said and done - there aren't that many vocalists around that sound quite like our Howard in full flow. He comes from a fine tradition of English humourists and singers and reminds me strongly of the late Ian Dury in some ways although - again - Summer Revival doesn't show much of that side either.

Now reading the above you might think that I don't like this, but in truth I like pretty much everything this band does, and Summer Revival is no exception. Certainly long term fans will love it because it has all the elements you associate with this group. It is, however, a lot sloppier in many ways to their usually high standard and even borders on the old 'demo' sound, especially when the vocals doubletrack, which is where its most noticeable. Songwise though, it's exactly what you would expect from the Billington mind, so serious fans will not be disappointed and the only reason I was is because I had become used to their usual polish....

Recommended Indie pop.

No comments: