Rock

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Emily Ritchie

More Scared of You Than You Are Of Me The Smith Street Band Pool House/Re­mote Con­trol Although the al­bum ti­tle is a heavy state­ment that speaks to the Smith Street Band’s typ­i­cal punk-rock angst, the Mel­bourne rock­ers’ fourth re­lease is un­doubt­edly their most emo­tion­ally di­verse. Lead vo­cal­ist Wil Wag­ner has con­tin­ued his lyri­cal mas­tery of Aus­tralian pub rock sen­si­bil­ity — de­liv­ered through his trade­mark gritty, half-singing, half-yelling vo­cal style — but this time there are far more shades of light, dark and ev­ery­thing in be­tween. More Scared of You Than You Are Of Me charts the cy­cle of a re­la­tion­ship, from the thrilling be­gin­nings and dra­matic end to an even­tual fresh start. It’s a tu­mul­tuous jour­ney, some­what mir­rored in the var­ied and un­du­lat­ing dy­nam­ics of each song. There’s a raw and hon­est qual­ity to ev­ery­thing Smith Street de­liv­ers, with an in­fec­tious en­ergy that makes every lis­ten feel like a live show, one that you can’t help but yell along to. First sin­gle Death to the Lads is a high­light, a rous­ing an­them about grow­ing up that came in at No 21 on last year’s Triple J Hottest 100. Pas­siona, Young Once and Laugh­ing (Or Pre­tend­ing to Laugh) are more stripped back, re­lay­ing vis­ceral emo­tion through bare gui­tar lines, lighter drums, elec­tronic dis­tor­tions and Wag­ner’s heart­break­ing colloquial Aussie laments. For peo­ple who don’t usu­ally lis­ten to heavy Aus­tralian rock, the Smith Street Band can be con­fronting at first, but be­yond the rough edges there is so much mu­si­cal and lyri­cal depth to en­joy.

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