Alternative music reviews

November 17, 2008

7 by Smilex

Filed under: reviews,smilex — @ 9:54 pm Comments (0)

I was driving to work on a Monday morning a little while ago. On the car stereo was a USB stick with the mp3s I was transferring to work. Amongst other music, I had a few review submissions, some Dead Boys albums, and Silverhead’s 16 and Savaged that I hadn’t heard for 35 years. A song came on that I didn’t know. It was fast and furious and sounded great (the video for this song Explode is above) with it’s riffing guitar but I couldn’t figure out who the band were. I couldn’t even figure out the decade – there was trashy guitar from 70s Glam Rock but then it sounded like Aerosmith, then 90s Grunge. One thing I did know was that I liked it.

I got to the office and quickly found it was Smilex, who are an Oxford Alternative Rock band (with the emphasis on rock). Their current release is “7”, a CD of seven songs based on the Seven Deadly Sins. They are the band that the “Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics” sticker was designed for. The songs are an orgiastic high-speed drive into depravity but with humour such as the line ‘nobody leaves in their own underwear’ – remember parties like that?

This is definitely an album for when you feel like bouncing off the walls. There are wonderful screams on Sex For Sale and For What It’s Worth. The constant attack of distorted guitar and desperate vocals do mean it can only be played when in the right mood. The exception to that is the track that, for me, stands out above all others on the album. Syllabus is loud and heavy to begin with but relaxes into a protest against school/church/government and this world in general before rising to a blood pumping chorus. It even spends the last minute quietly with strings and a refrain of ‘I have faith in these desolate times’. This track really speaks to me on every level and goes into my collection of favourite songs of all time.

Syllabus by Smilex

Syllabus by Smilex (Clip)

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