This alt-rock album is produced by New Zealander David Kilgour of the band, The Clean. Smokescreens‘ release highlights “a band at the very height of their powers, combining their collective talents into a potent set of songs that’s been superbly captured by the team of Kilgour and Mullarky.”
The opening track, “Fork In The Road,” is conceptually interesting, and highlights their soft-psychedelic sound that becomes a staple throughout. There’s a bit of rock and blues-fused into the song as well, and overall, creates a pretty catchy vibe.
Their next song, “Working Title,” is definitely a fun favorite for me. Band member Chris Rosi says that this track is about “being at your wit’s end and wanting time to stop so you can catch your breath. For [Chris] it was a long time job. I had that ground [him] down slowly over the years… The song was written after that breaking point.” From the interesting guitar riffs and playing to their unique sound in the instrumentation (similar to their other song “I Want To Know”), altogether, makes for a memorable listen.
“Streets of Despair” and “What Is To Be Done” both have tons of notable ideas that stay in the listeners head, and makes for a feeling of fresh air being brought into their music. “On And On” is another infectiously eventful song that they described as “dreamy” which completely hits the nail on the head! It’s fun to follow along with, but still showcases a deeper context underneath it all.
Smokescreens continue to bring their sound to the front with their version of Scrotum Poles’ DIY classic, “Pick The Cats Eyes Out.” Had their notes not said this was a cover, you never would have known! They took the song and made it their own, whilst still fitting ever so perfectly in their originals, which I really admired.
Bringing to light a softer side of their musical tastes is “Nighttime Skies” and their closing track “I Love Only You.” These two, especially the latter, really stuck out for me as they opened a more vulnerable side to the band that had been hidden away for a little. It’s a beautifully formulated song, and I think it had just the perfect effect of their style with a touch of relatability. The depth and life that Smokescreens is able to bring to life is amazing. The album is a journey all its own, and I think they really turned my ear to a new, yet somehow familiar sound.
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