The Smith Street Band
Throw Me in the River


4.5
superb

Review

by VengeanceCactus USER (3 Reviews)
March 6th, 2018 | 20 replies


Release Date: 10/31/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All we ever really wanted was to feel at home.

The Smith Street Band had always released songs full of exuberance and youthful energy, but truly reached a creative peak in quality and consistency with Throw Me in the River. The album is absolutely swamped with great ideas but manages to subdue them to just the right proportions. The result is a focused and cathartic experience that is packed to the brim with engaging songwriting.

Smith Street are a band that are immediately recognizable, with the thick Australian accent of frontman Wil Wagner and the jumpy guitar lines that accompany their wonderfully upbeat tunes. However, this release represented a noticeable refinement in production and atmosphere. Songs like Calgary Girls and Something I Could Hold in my Hands are blanketed in a gorgeous but utterly depressive texture, whereas I Don't Wanna Die Anymore and the finale of The Arrogance of a Drunk Pedestrian have absolutely crushing guitar and bass sound. Much of this can be credited to producer Jeff Rosenstock, whose production here is reminiscent of the techniques he went on to use on his stellar album We Cool".

The rest of the songs fall sonically in the middle of the two extremes, with an undeniable punk energy and catchy hooks throughout. Standout tracks include Surrender, I Love Life, and possibly the strongest track of the album, Surrey Dive. Wil has so many thoughts he is dying to express, he seems to push songs to the limit lyrically and vocally to get them all out. When he gasps “I'm so tired” in the bridge of East London Summer, it's easy to understand why.

While there are no songs on the album that I would consider to be bad, there are some that don't quite stand up to the others. Get High, See No One has a chord progression and lead melody that strongly resembles that of I Don't Wanna Die Anymore, which makes it feel like a less interesting version of the same song. It's Alright, I Understand doesn't particularly evoke as strong imagery that other songs here do, and for that reason also comes up a bit short. However, this slightly lackluster run is remedied by the absolutely whopping title track, and I Love Life, which seems to serve as a manifesto for just what the album represents to the band. Wil shouts, “All I've wanted my whole damn life is for something like this to materialize”, and it's an easy feeling to get behind. The record focuses heavily on themes of self worth and self discovery, and that there's nothing more rewarding than finding something in the world you were meant to do and doing it to the fullest. That, and leaving the world a little more beautiful.


user ratings (360)
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4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
VengeanceCactus
March 6th 2018


15 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album has quite a few reviews already, but I love it so much I just needed to express it. 4.8/5 for real.

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
March 6th 2018


55826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

best

Digging: Waka Flocka Flame - Big Homie Flocka

Crawl
March 6th 2018


2507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, this is the best TSSB.

schoonda
March 6th 2018


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Jammed this last night for the first time in a while, still such a fantastic record, I have nothing but love for these guys. I'd argue their first is a tad better but this is far more consistent.

My favourite band easily

Digging: Ben Howard - Noonday Dream

VengeanceCactus
March 6th 2018


15 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@schoonda



Yeah, I absolutely love their first record. When I Was A Boy I Thought I Was A Fish is probably my favorite SSB song, it's totally brilliant. I don't think the second half of that album is quite as solid as this one though.

dimsim3478
March 6th 2018


7962 Comments


great review here. any time i feel you're gushing, i read on and find an eloquent, concise justification of your viewpoint.

imo "its alright i understand" and "get high see no one" are top 3, with maybe "arrogance" at #1 (tho perhaps my ranking of those top 3 has changed over the years, its definitely still those particular songs in the top 3).

Digging: Elephant Kashimashi - Wake Up

schoonda
March 6th 2018


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's weird to think it's coming up to nearly 4 years since this came out, time flies. 2014 was such an exciting year for me and this record really reminds me of that

dimsim3478
March 6th 2018


7962 Comments


i also feel that time has truly flown since this record came out but not in a good way; not much has really changed in my life between now and 2014. nevertheless, listening to this record does bring back positive memories for me as well, mostly of how affecting this record was - i remember being sick on a weekday and sitting at home and listening to it a million times in a row as i was rushing to get an early review in for it despite not really liking the record at first, and then it clicking on the million and first spin.

in the library at university atm and just finished listening to it again; still kinda amazing.

ianblxdsoe
March 6th 2018


1864 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this album is legitimately one of the single-handedly most important albums of my life or at least adolescence and this review is refreshing in tone and unique in style. good shit, pos hard. maybe i'll tackle this at some point :thinking:

schoonda
March 6th 2018


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah I could argue the point that the last few years haven't seen much change in my life, but despite that, the years have been very good, but I think 2014 sticks out as a year that involved a big change in music taste for me, I travelled, met my girlfriend, just a lot of big things that shaped me as a person happened and this album is part of that.

Honestly the first listen to this for me was amazing and I jammed this religiously for about 6 months

VengeanceCactus
March 6th 2018


15 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the positive feedback guys! And you're right, it's been well over three years since this dropped. Time flies when you're jamming out to Aussie punk.

Also, for anyone who hasn't seen these guys live, it's 100% worth it. They put on an absolutely mental show.

schoonda
March 6th 2018


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pool House party next week gonna be unreal

AngryJohnny
March 7th 2018


748 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review



Love this album

tom79
March 7th 2018


3632 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Huge album for me. I also can't believe it will be 4 years ago this came out. I remember walking around campus listening to it for the first time like it was yesterday, fuck.

Digging: Patti Smith - Horses

dimsim3478
March 9th 2018


7962 Comments


holy fuck this band is playing my uni campus next week. needless to say, im skipping my finance lecture.

schoonda
March 9th 2018


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

what uni are you at dimsim?

dimsim3478
March 9th 2018


7962 Comments


monashhhhhhhhh, where a stupid large proportion of the kids came outta fuckin private school

schoonda
March 9th 2018


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hey we're not all bad mate! Private school in Gippsland doesn't turn you into a pretentious idiot like the Melbourne ones haha. My girlfriend went to Melbourne Uni and hated that aspect of it too

dimsim3478
March 9th 2018


7962 Comments


haha nah im just kiddin; most of the people i meet are super nice! (and because i'm in law, most of these kids are outta private high schools and super rich, but still pretty nice!) i have heard that it's a bit more elitist over at melb u, tho.

schoonda
March 10th 2018


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah dude she's always saying how everyone is just trying to sound super smart and over the top haha.

I don't care how rich people or their parents are, as long as they understand the value of money aren't blind to how fortunate they are and how others aren't as lucky, which unfortunately not all do.



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