After three years since their last album, The Smith Street Band are back with their most personal and compelling record yet.
Through the course of the twelve track album More Scared of You Than You Are Of Me, the band’s fourth studio album, frontman Wil Wagner vents about the emotional damage of a past relationship in a very strong narrative form; the albums has highs and lows, a beginning, middle and an end. However, despite focusing on something so personal to Wagner, the content of the songs still remains accessible and relatable to a wider audience which can often be a concern when producing a record which is so strict in its focus.
More Scared’s theme of frustration and sadness gives the band the perfect grounding to maintain their unique folk-punk sound while building on previous efforts to create an album that is more engaging and provocative than anything they’ve made before.
Produced by the prolific punk rock Long Islander Jeff Rosenstock, the album has been anticipated since the release of its first single back in November ‘Death To The Lads’ , which was an immediate success coming in at number 21 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 and raising the band’s profile to be one of the more well known names in contemporary Australian punk. An anthem against the culture of general dickheaded-ness and the necessity to improve oneself, the track is a great encapsulation of the spirit of the band: fun, loud and boisterous while remaining very culturally and emotionally aware which can be a very delicate balance in song writing.
The narrative of the album is founded upon the seamless sequencing of everyday anecdotes and concerns into genuine reflections on love and loss; from “rubbing paw-paw on a new tattoo” in ‘Song For You’ to Wagner having a panic attack on German television in ‘Passiona’. The album is also capped off tremendously with a change in pace in ‘Laughing (Or Pretending to Laugh)’, which despite its more hushed and gentle sound, leaves the listener feeling optimistic while Wanger ruminates on the beginning of a new relationship.
While on an initial listen some of the tracks come across a little samey, each one offers a distinctive self aware and quirky reflection on life in tumultuous relationship which will leave you listening to it all over again.
You can catch The Smith Street Band at Groovin’ The Moo and on their following on Australian tour across May and June.