If I hear any more new music this good in 2006, I may actually attain enlightenment through the sheer elevating power of audio joy. This is just so, so, so bastard fine. It has cracking artwork, excellent song titles, a general sense of well-thought-out tactical planning… and the songs themselves are quite simply spot on.
Smokers Die Younger throw a deliciously cheap sounding organ and some remarkably warped trumpets into a mix of Wire and Nation of Ulysses, and then infuse the resulting eclecticism with an unifying dose of anger, sarcasm, hurt and skewed humour. They then sing, with a worldly-wise intelligence and sense of truth and complexity which puts ‘em head and shoulders above the crowd, of love etc and of (driving*) lessons learned. The result simultaneously tugs on the heart strings with the soaring, beautiful ache patented by Electralane and evokes awed admiration for the sheer scale of inventive ingenuity on display. Every time I play it I’m constantly torn between wanting to skip back after each track and hear it again, and wanting to leave it alone and play every single other song on there SIMULTANEOUSLY, IMMEDIATELY, NOW. It’s that consistently addictive.
Surreal yet coherent, unexpected, angry and astoundingly urgent, SDY sound as good as you imagined your local scene did when you’d just discovered the back rooms of pubs. Perhaps this is the secret of making an album this leftfield sound so immediately evocative and personal: you’ll recognise them, because they’re the astounding, soul-embracing band you dreamed you were discovering throughout your teenage years. Except that this time, you don’t have to grow up because the music’s as wise as you are. SDY are quite simply astounding, and every one of the eleven tracks on here is the best.
*"You cut me up! You cut me up! You cut me up! You cut me up!… etc etc… YOU CUNT!”