Thursday, 27 April 2017

Album Review: SMILE EMPTY SOUL – Rarities

Smile Empty SoulLet’s take a trip back in time, to the mid-90s, when bands like Nirvana and Alice in Chains dominated radio airwaves with their mix of distorted guitars and brutal vocals – well, for that time the vocals were brutal. These bands created music that screamed to our younger selves, giving us music that we could relate to as we grew up. But then something happened after the deaths of Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley, the genre that we loved, called grunge, died with those artists. It seemed like no matter how hard any of these other bands tried to resuscitate the genre, it just kept decomposing as the years passed. But can grunge make a comeback? Can it be reborn?

When we think about the rebirth of grunge, you would think the golden child of sorts would come from Seattle, but Los Angeles band Smile Empty Soul plan to take the world by storm with their unique blend of rock and grunge. The album, titled Rarities, is the band’s 8th release, and with a full 2017 touring schedule Smile Empty Soul are working harder than ever.

From the first track on the album, “One At A Time,” the band took me on a trip down memory lane to the time when I first listened to Nirvana’s Bleach; it was refreshing to hear music that had the elements of Grunge that I fell in love with. For me the best song on the release was a demo version of “Something New,” which in my opinion sounded like a song straight out of the 90s, with a mix of both clean and heavy distorted guitars, soft and rough vocals that were reminiscent of those of grunge icons mentioned previously.

The album was an enjoyable experience, containing the lyrical content and writing that we grew to love when we were younger, the music that spoke to us as we were trying to figure out who we were. At the end of the day, I truly think that Smile Empty Soul have created an album that can be the rebirth of a genre that many of us held dear. You can give Rarities a listen, which is available now via the band’s website.

Smile Empty Soul
Photo: Ronald Pruitt

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