Friday 25 Jul

Planting the seed

Chelsey Cope’s new band, Elms, is as earthy and native to Oklahoma as the trees that are their namesake. The soulful folk four-piece’s debut EP, Parallel Lines, was recorded at Bell Labs Recording Studio in Norman and is on its way in September. But the band has already given us a tease, with its first single, “Burn,” going live on SoundCloud on July 14.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Commercial rock

Center of the Universe Festival featuring Capital Cities, Young The Giant, AWOLNATION & more
Downtown Tulsa 

07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Mack truckin’

9 p.m. Friday 
Kamp’s Lounge 
1310 NW 25th St. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Chevy cruisin’

Chevy Woods with Kevin Gates & more
9 p.m. Sunday 
Vibe Night Club 
227 SW 25th St. 

07/16/2014 | Comments 0

Rock steady

7 p.m. Saturday
Frontier City
11501 N. Interstate 35 Service Road
Free with park admission 

07/16/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Reviews · Pop · Smith Westerns — Dye It Blonde

Smith Westerns — Dye It Blonde

Packages 70 years of pop/rock into one fantastic album

Stephen Carradini April 5th, 2011

You know what’s often lost in hip and new sounds? Good songs. This is why chillwave was doomed. It was awesome, but who remembers it, other than a cloudy haze?

The new wave of “it” bands remember good songs and have decided to write some. Like Brits Yuck and New Yorker Luke Rathborne, the Chicagoans in Smith Westerns have put their heads together to make solid guitar rock tunes on “Dye It Blonde.” Nothing new under the sun, for real.

But the reason that Smith Westerns were on my list of “No way am I going to get into their SXSW sets” is because their guitar rock is the kind you wish existed already. Out of the three aforementioned bands, it’s easily the most accessible. The vocals float above the guitar work in volumes ranging from “coo” (“Weekend”) to “croon.” The guitar is often of that 1950s-style, which is alternately dreamy and forward without being invasive. The airy synths give off a vintage vibe, which is barely possible (they didn’t really have synths in the ‘50s?), but they do.

This band packages all of the great things about 70 years of pop/rock into one set. Bold statement? Yes. They back it up. I could spend several hundred words describing all the songs in detail, but I won’t. Just know that they are each fantastic and worthy of the words. 

The first listen of “Dye It Blonde” made me feel as if I’d heard the disc a dozen times already and loved every spin. This is familiar in all the right ways and none of the wrong ones; you can play “spot the influence,” but they add up to more than the sum of their parts.

You’ll be humming their guitar melodies and vocal melodies. You’ll be queuing it up for your next make-out session. You’ll be putting “Weekend” in the first spot on your summer mixtape. Yes. Get this album. —Stephen Carradini
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5