SMITH WESTERNS, THE: Self-titled: LP

After years and years of reviewing, my expectations are incredibly low. Then an LP like this one comes along! The Smith Westerns play psychedelic power-pop really well. There’s a lot going on with this record—sure, the music of the Soft Boys and the lyrics of John Felice are obvious influences. But what I’m into is the Smith Western’s guitar playing—amateurish Roger McGuinn-style playing pervades—and the production of this LP, which sounds like dynamite on your speakers. On repeated listens, this album only gets better. It’s like a fucking raucous version of the Rain Parade, then shit starts going T-Rex on your ass. One of the most eclectic albums I’ve heard in a long time, with the variation and prowess of the Deadly Snakes at their best. Unless a musical revolution happens—one that makes the Nerves sound like Captain and Tennille—this album will be one of the ten best of 2009. Good lord!

 –ryan (HoZac, hozacrecords.com)