The Smith Street Band
More Scared of You Than You Are of Me


4.0
excellent

Review

by TooManyFriends USER (20 Reviews)
April 7th, 2017 | 339 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Smith Street Band streamline their sound, but stay truer to themselves than ever

We’re 4 albums in, and The Smith Street Band are still the vehicle for Wil Wagner’s search for balance in life. There’s a song on this album called “It Kills Me To Have To Be Alive”, and if that wasn’t enough of an indication for you, rest easy; Wagner is still sad as hell. To paint him with just one stroke of the brush is unfair, however, because on this new album, Wagner is hitting the whole damn emotional spectrum.

More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me sees Wagner feel loved, yet also unloved; he wants to be alone, but also surrounded; part of him wants to be dead, part of him’s never been so happy to be alive; he’s been laughing (or pretending to laugh) but also crying (or pretending to cry). If nothing else, this album is an excellent case study in human emotion, given how few artists wear their heart on their sleeve as bluntly and honestly as Wagner. At the very least, without checking, he is assuredly the only songwriter to ever pen the lyric “I want to fuck everyone in the supermarket”.

Life is about finding meaning, and the constant push-and-pull of this record in that regard is genuinely fascinating and entertaining. Just when it seems like Wagner’s got it all figured out (“Shine”), he ends up sounding more depressed than ever (the aforementioned “It Kills Me”). That imbalance is good, natural, and ultimately human, and that’s what makes Wagner such a great songwriter; his undying commitment to raw emotion and honesty.

The “get shitfaced now, ask questions later” nature of The Smith Street Band’s punky sound remains untarnished, but is a bit more streamlined than in the past. The production is slicker, with moments like the bombastic intro riff to “Suffer” sounding fit to play in giant arenas instead of the dingy pubs Wagner so often sings about. Fortunately, the less raw nature of the record does not equate to insincerity. “Forrest” is still a banger of the highest order, meant to be played as loudly and unapologetically as “Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams” or “I Don’t Wanna Die Anymore”. The cascading walls of guitar and cymbals towards the end of “Song For You” see the band sounding as massive as they’ve ever been. When they want to lean back, like on the indie-folk stylings of “Passiona”, they sidestep all the pretentiousness of their contemporaries without sacrificing an ounce of the catchiness. These are songs you want to sing, and sing as loudly as possible.

As Wil Wagner lets us into his world for the fourth time, it’s really, really hard to not want to root for The Smith Street Band. The chorus of “Run Into The World” deserves to echo in the walls of stadiums everywhere, not because of its hook, but because of just how goddamn real it is. Above all, More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me sees The Smith Street Band solidify their standing as the ultimate band of the people, for the people. Today, fucking everybody in the supermarket; tomorrow, conquering the world. You can bet Wil Wagner will still be a basket case on the other side.



Recent reviews by this author
Hundred Suns The PrestaliisWage War Deadweight
Rise Against WolvesBryson Tiller True To Self
Bad Suns Disappear HereArchitects All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
user ratings (171)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TooManyFriends
April 7th 2017


2529 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

my customary 1 review a year

Artuma
April 7th 2017


29129 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wonderful review, pos'd. can't wait to jam this thing, especially while getting shitfaced in the process

AsleepInTheBack
April 7th 2017


5131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fantastic review, you should write more. And glad this album sounds like it'll be everything I wanted it to be.

BlushfulHippocrene
April 7th 2017


2019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fantastic review, I love how often you manage to reference the lyrics without quoting them.

Digging: Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights

Piglet
April 7th 2017


7450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

decently grouse album



not to take anything away from the review itself, it is good, but i'm honestly kinda tired of reading about wil wagner's raw honesty and sincerity and realness and genuineness and whatever the fuck even if it is considered an integral part to enjoying the music

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2017


39428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

^ I mean it gets highlighted for a reason, it's literally the reason most people listen to smithies. that's like saying you're sick of reading about how Frank Ocean has a great voice or Illmatic has great lyrics - they're repeated for a reason

Digging: The Used - The Canyon

AsleepInTheBack
April 7th 2017


5131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Couldn't agree more

Piglet
April 7th 2017


7450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Honestly I don't understand you lot who think the lyrics and sincerity of this band is some kind of sacred cow. I think its wayyy overplayed even though I find a personal connection with them myself.

A reader not familiar with the band can't even gauge what this album sounds like from this review, barring the fourth paragraph, which coincidentally is the best.

I think the real enjoyment of these guys that is vastly downplayed is the unique delivery of the vocals, the rock'n'roll drive, choruses and bangers so I'm annoyed when it plays second fiddle. But I can appreciate that I may be in a minority for sure, not discounting that.

TooManyFriends
April 7th 2017


2529 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yeah i kinda felt like i was beating a dead horse a lil bit there (i rarely like anything that i write) but idk man i listen to this band and it makes me feel things. it'd feel weird not to write about.



thx guys

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2017


19716 Comments


agreed and this review is very conscious of that anyways. posd by the way definitely made me want to give this a shot despite the fact that i'm not the biggest smith street band fan

Piglet
April 7th 2017


7450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I should clarify, I don't mean to say the way many people interpret this music has any less merit than how I do. I'm just perplexed at the fascination and personally feel the actual sound of this record is under-represented.

And where is line in the sand, between that which is beating a dead horse and that which is necessarily highlighting the same points? Matter of interpretation again I suppose, but in any case it doesn't really matter, the review is ordained under a great love for the band and the claims therein are legitimate. I would probably just enjoy it a lot more if it didn't feel like I had already read it before I had read it.

Astral Abortis
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2017


3383 Comments


Man I'm just kind of sick of this schtick after hearing it so much. Throw Me In the River was complete trash and it's just such a pain listening to Wil complain about the same crap played alongside the same music. It was really something special initially but now I just want it to end.

StickFeit
April 7th 2017


689 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nah man, Throw Me In The River was sweet

Astral Abortis
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2017


3383 Comments


I hated it something fierce

Astral Abortis
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2017


3383 Comments


This is coming from a guy who once waited for three hours in Fitzroy on a winter morning to buy two limited edition Smithies albums

StickFeit
April 7th 2017


689 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That much? Damn... Sure I get that some people want a change in their sound/lyrics, but the formula just works so well for them.

Can't imagine a record where they sound different (haven't heard this one yet tho)

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2017


39428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

agreed how dare wil still be depressed, it's really affecting my enjoyment of his music, real inconsiderate of him

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2017


5447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This sounds a bit different I guess, though I'm not sure the marketing gumph about this being any more ambitious than the others is true. Might be a little less raucous overall than their previous works, but that's it.



Sinternet
April 7th 2017


14872 Comments


need to check tonight

25 was fucking amazing live when i saw them hope it sounds good on here

Astral Abortis
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2017


3383 Comments


agreed how dare wil still be depressed, it's really affecting my enjoyment of his music, real inconsiderate of him

100%, gettin real tedious hearing the same watered down song.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy