For Fans Of
The Smith Street Band have always had a unique style that sounds like an amalgamation of punk rock and poetry, which is seen perfectly on opening track, ‘Something I Can Hold In My Hands’. The song builds up to a climax at which we hear frontman Wil Wagner shouting, ‘All I ever needed was something I could hold in my hands!’ with such powerful delivery, that using only the first track of the record, the band makes it clear that they don’t do anything in half measures.
Although there are plenty of tracks like the aforementioned opener, and lead single ‘Surrender’ that will be provoking plenty of emotionally charged sing alongs at shows, the band takes a moment out on ‘Surrey Dive’ to give you something that will make you want to do nothing more than dance the night away, thriving off a guitar riff bound to turn even the most uptight of people into the life of the party.
Wagner’s vocals have always been a point of contention for Australian music fans – and let’s be fair, the half sung, half spoken/shouted vocals are an acquired taste that is not going to gel with everyone. If, however, like us, you can love it without hesitation, then you’ll be rewarded in spades. Without Wagner’s vocals, this album just wouldn’t be the same either. ‘The Arrogance of the Drunk Pedestrian’ is arguably the best example we have of that here as well, with the introduction giving us a collection of softly spoken vocal lines, leading into the cathartic shouting of the bridge – ‘When I said that I wanted to die, I meant it! When I said that you saved my life I meant it!’
You simply can’t talk about this record without mentioning the title track ‘Throw Me In The River’. Recalling a breakup coinciding with an overseas tour, Wagner puts forward enough energy in this track to leave any listener emotionally drained, make it a track well and truly worthy of being the album’s namesake.
The Smith Street Band have become an important part of Australian music. For many of us, they’re one of the absolute first band’s that will come to mind, and on ‘Throw Me In The River’, they’ve done us all proud. As the record comes to a close with ‘I Love Life’, we hear the shout of, ‘All I ever needed is to be part of something meaningful’. Well, congratulations guys – you did it.
1. Something I Can Hold In My Hands
3. Surrey Dive
4. Calgary Girls
5. East London Summer
6. The Arrogance of the Drunk Pedestrian
7. Get High, See No One
8. I Don’t Wanna Die Anymore
9. It’s Alright, I Understand
10. Throw Me In The River
11. I Love Life