Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Meet Smartboys!

Wow. Here's a new band that's totally up my alley! Mike and Jonah from Fucked Up started writing songs for this project eight or nine years ago, but they could never find the right singer to make it work. But last year, they finally got their guy in Tim Westburg (Slim Twig, US Girls). And now Smartboys are a band! Their first single is out on Deranged Records, and it could easily pass for some lost U.K. punk/new wave treasure from 1979.

As you'd expect from a band that got its name from a Starjets lyric, Smartboys create a just-right mix of pop and punk. The guitars crunch, the drums thump, and Westburg's Bowie-ish vocals are remarkably true to the era they're re-creating. If The Professionals had been more "new wave", they might have done a song like "RSVP". I also hear hints of The Vapors - one of my all-time favorite bands. Having stockpiled a large number of songs over the years, these guys clearly were not hurting for A-grade material. This is an absolutely superb debut. I think the B-side, "Cutting Through Life", might actually be the hit! If you geek out over '70s pop/punk the way I do, this one is not to be missed!


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