Smiles – “Oh My Soul”


After a string of excellent EPs, including outings for Melters and Slumberland, the Bay Area burners Smiles finally have an album on the way. The band’s Manny Chocano has woven himself among the other indie-bent power pop outfits in the area, with some vocal contributions to Tony Molina and Burner Herzog records. Though Smiles remains Chocano’s main endeavor and, while the run-up to an album has been long, it seems the wait has finally paid off. The band often tips into power pop like some of their contemporaries, but more often than not there’s a simmering tension beneath Smiles’ works. That tension is at the center of “Oh My Soul,” a darkly brooding track that borrows a title from Big Star, but owes more to SST and Homestead than Ardent. The album opener affects a bit of ache from Dinosaur Jr., wrapping its jangles in a bed of hiss and hurt. The new album, no. 1 album (with a bullet), is out this Spring.

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