Smith Westerns: Dye It Blonde

Smith Westerns: Dye It Blonde
Fat Possum Records was started as a sister label to the punk rock emporium that is Epitaph Records. Fat Possum dedicated themselves to releasing blues albums by some of the most well respected blues men the Mississippi delta had to offer. But with the legendary blues men that the label is based upon dying off or retiring, the label has somewhat shifted its view to releasing music by younger bands such as Tennis, The Walkmen, and most recently, Smith Westerns.
Smith Westerns’ sophomore album, Dye It Blonde does not show off the blues roots that Fat Possum’s was based on but the album is strongly rooted in a classic rock sound. The group has a lo-fi sound not dissimilar to fellow Fat Possum band, Wavves. But unlike Wavves, that plays a fast, almost punk-style lo-fi, Smith Western plays a form of lo-fi that embraces psychedelic pop. Their sound is somewhere in between an all male version of Vivan Girls and Portugal. The Man.
My favorite song on the album is “Smile”. The track mixes Muse-esque pianos with fuzzed-out lead guitar lines. But the highlight of the song is lead singer, Cullen Omori’s falsetto vocals on the chorus that hearkens back to Brian Wilson.
I was not a huge fan of Fat Possum going in the direction of releasing non-blues albums but with last years release of Wavves’ King of the Beach and now Smith Westerns’ Dye It Blonde, it seems like Fat Possum is specializing in releasing critically acclaimed albums. Dye It Blonde is a near perfect album that will surely join many critics best of the year lists.
Rating: 9.3/10
MP3: Smith Westerns “Smile”
Buy: iTunes orAmazon