Review Summary: An authentic trek through life's bumpy terrain
Over the past several years, The Smith Street Band’s debut has become a bit of a personal escape for me; a safe haven where all life’s agitations are momentarily buried. The raucous mixture of Wil Wagner’s naked lyrics, loud guitars, and drunken gang-vocals remain alarmingly relatable – not unlike that deep bonding experience that occurs over a few beers with the guys. Yet, No One Gets Lost Anymore
doesn’t sugarcoat reality to make you feel better about yourself either. It’s an often bleak, yet honest exploration of life told via the nasally, inebriated vocals of an Australian dude. With Wil Wagner penning the lyrics, every song seems to portray personal experience, and his delivery is as poignant as the subject matter is vivid. Like all effective storytellers, he manages to make you feel as though you’re a part of the rugged journey, rather than merely a fly on the wall. Perhaps that’s why every time I revisit No One Gets Lost Anymore
there’s a sense I’m hearing parts of it for the first time – the general familiarity is there, but the rough terrain and alcohol-fueled revelations pave the way for an exhilarating climb each time.
On the opening track, Wil declares “we’ve both slept under bridges darling, don’t you look so ***ing proud”, and from that point going forward the blatant lyricism never lets up. ‘The Belly of Your Bedroom’ finds the singer at his most vulnerable as he express disdain for his own body, while other songs touch on anxiety, booze, friendships, more booze, and everything in-between. Dozens of lyrical excerpts could be used to demonstrate the raw lyrical approach here, but they would do little justice to the overall package. Whether it be to accompany you through that tedious day at work, or unwind with a cold brew in hand, No One Gets Lost Anymore
is a poetic powerhouse; most effective when heard in its glorious entirety. The heavy lyrics within are not unlike weights on your shoulders, leaving you emotionally exhausted by the end of the album. It’s as weathered as life itself, and as such, the journey may leave you feeling banged up, but you always walk away feeling stronger – or at the very least, knowing you learned a thing or two in the process.