Sometimes when releasing a debut EP it’s best to keep things simple yet memorable and, after touring the Australian countryside for eighteen months, that’s exactly what Serial Killer Smile has done. The local Perth band has just released their debut EP ‘The Elephant In The Room’ and it’s nothing over the top, but it gets the job done. It’s now time to look further and dive through the keyhole pictured on the album cover and marvel at the beast that is ‘The Elephant In The Room’.
Serial Killer Smile kick off their debut EP with 'The Baker', which begins with lead singer Ben Bowden crooning the catchy and emotional lyric “I’ve tried so hard, to make you see the way things are, I’ve tried so hard, but now you’ve gone and paid for what you are”. These lyrics are repeated throughout the song over off kilter drumming and grungy guitar. The pace slowly builds, with the bass guitar adding plenty of depth as well as the killer striking of the snare drum. As the song continues to gain momentum and a swirling melodic guitar solo erupts and fades away, as acoustic guitar and strings enter to further strengthen what this track has to offer. 'Version [3.0]' is the following track and features a heavy commanding guitar that grabs you by the throat. Hooky verses and smart lyrics provide this song with a sense of identity, which sets it apart from the rest of the EP. 'Version [3.0]' also consists of an upbeat, bassy structure that is extremely catchy and, like most bassy songs, sounds better the louder you play it. With the pace alterations throughout the song and the bass driven choruses, Version [3.0] is reminiscent of the American alternative metallers Index Case, but it still maintains its own unique identity.
'Let You Go' enters the arena next and it’s ambient guitar plucks swirl around and consume the listener. Churning bass guitar sends a chill through your entire body as the guitar takes a melodic turn and echoes around like distant warning sirens. Ben Bowden’s softer, harmonious voice adds a unique twist over the now heavier grungy guitar; it offers some very interesting twists and turns, which resonate with the listener after the song ends. With two songs remaining on the ‘The Elephant In The Room’ it’s clear that Serial Killer Smile have struck gold and should mine it for all it’s worth. The band’s debut single 'The Irrepressible' feels like a tale for the heartbroken, delivered through very smart hate-fuelled lyrics. There are no fancy tricks once again, just the band playing their instruments and playing them well. The vivid picture drawn by the lyrics in this song is truly worth a thousand words and possibly an equal amount of listens. Soaring vocals throughout the bridge and Tool-esque bass rhythms push this song up into the stratosphere and make it the most notable cut from the EP. 'We’ll Never Know' sums up the EP perfectly, being the result of all previous ideas streamed into one final epic closer. This songs exceptional musicianship and structure take turns in showing everything Serial Killer Smile has to offer. Whether it’s from the shining vocals, edgy drumming and exciting guitar, or pounding bass lines, 'We’ll Never Know' fits perfectly into the final slot and leaves the listener wanting more, a feat which many other artists fail to achieve.
Overall what Serial Killer Smile has created on their debut EP is impressive. Soft, haunting vocals draped over heavy, melodic and off kilter rhythms has proved very addictive and refreshing. The album cover itself is also something to be admired, as its keyhole cut-out opens way for the elephant skin on the CD to be viewed and suggest that there is in fact an elephant in the room beyond. With this EP ‘The Elephant In The Room’ there is nothing stopping Serial Killer Smile from following in the footsteps of fellow peers such as Dead Letter Circus and The Butterfly Effect, unless it turns out releasing a killer debut EP is a jailable offense!