A lovely lady by the name of Melani (Hi, Melani!) contacted me to say that she’s looking after a band called Smash Palace.
(Actually, I guess it’d be more accurate to say that Melani’s looking after the publicity for a band called Smash Palace, otherwise I’d be imagining Melani “looking after the band” by having them live in her home, feeding them, clothing them, tucking them in bed at night etc.)
As far as I know, I haven’t heard of Smash Palace before. I know there’s a New Zealand movie called Smash Palace, but not a band. Melani told me that Smash Palace (the band) is about to release an album called Do It Again. When she asked if I’d like to have a listen to it, the Christmas Eve part of me excitedly responded: “A sneak peek of an album not yet released? You bet!”
I’ve now listened to Do It Again a fair bit (three times in a row isn’t excessive, is it?). As a result, I can make the following official statement: Peter Enjoyed The Album.
One aspect of the album I like enormously is the production. Everything sounds good. It’s not a flashy production – there isn’t a glossy sheen on the vocals or instruments, and there aren’t layers and layers of instruments making for an unhelpfully busy sound – it’s just a good, solid-sounding record. And I love the sounds of the guitars. All of them. This is a really well-recorded album. (Especially the guitars.)
As I listened to the album, I had the distinct feeling that the band has done this kind of thing before (i.e., making a record), because it’s well made. Hang on, I’ll have a look at their discography…
They made seven albums before this one. Just how long has this band been together? Hang on again…
Smash Palace have been at this music caper since 1985.
Wow. Considering how long they’ve been together, and how good the album sounds, it leads me to the inescapable conclusion: they certainly know what they’re doing.
Unfortunately, my ramblings are stopping you from listening to the music (unless you decided to just play the songs and not read any of this piffle, to which I say “You’re a very sensible person”.)
Before we finally get to some of the songs, I’d like to let you know that I found a couple of musical coincidences. I’ll try to be moderately discreet by quietly mentioning them here instead of trumpeting them loudly as Musical Coincidences (dun, dun, dun…). I hope the band doesn’t mind me pointing them out.
And one more ramble (sorry about this): I chose the photo at the top of this post because the band members are standing in what looks like a garden. As far as I’m concerned, there aren’t enough photos of bands
frolicking about in the bushes communing with nature. However, when I looked at the photo properly (i.e., paying attention to the people, not just admiring the greenery), I noticed that the guy on the left has had his hand cut off. Oops. And the lady on the right looks as though she’s just realised that she needs to be somewhere else and is just about to walk out of the picture. Oops again. Ah well. At least they’re all standing in what looks like a nice garden.
A Song From The Album (with a coincidence)
OK, let’s start at the start. Here’s the opening track of Do It Again. It gives you a pretty decent idea of what kind of album you’ll be letting yourself in for:
Smash Palace – “Living It Lonely” (2012)
I like that song.
“Living It Lonely” contained the first coincidence I found. The beginning of the song reminded me of the beginning of…
The Records – “Starry Eyes” (1978) (excerpt)
And to recap:
Smash Palace – “Living It Lonely” (2012) (excerpt)
Another Song From The Album (with a coincidence)
Here’s the other song in which I found a rather strong coincidence. I’ll play you the coincidence first:
Smash Palace – “Dreamer” (2012) (excerpt)
Supertramp – “Dreamer“ (1974) (excerpt)
OK. Now just try not to think of Supertramp singing “Dreamer!” when you listen to this:
Smash Palace – “Dreamer” (2012)
But besides those two fairly noticeable coincidences, the album is chock full o’ decent, original songs.
One More Song From The Album (this time no coincidence)
Some of the songs on the album I found downright irresistible. Like this one for example:
Smash Palace – “Can’t Make It Without Her” (2012)
As I was looking through Smash Palace’s discography I saw the cover for their previous album, 7:
Now that’s what I call cheeky.