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The Smith Street Band : More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me

9.5

More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me gets straight down to business with the fast-paced, punchy rock track Forrest kicking off the album, followed by the lighter, more reserved Birthdays. Here listeners learn this album is not going to be a fully charged, guns-blazing rock album but rather a concise and descriptive journey lead by the ever autobiographical Wil Wagner. Next up, Death To The Lads serves as a reminder of The Smith Street Band’s undeniable charm with the pub rock anthem delivering a slick, classic Aussie rock melody and singalong chorus that’s almost impossible not to chime in with.
 
The album proceeds to snake between light-hearted, upbeat tracks like the jangly Passiona, and darker, stomp-all-over-your-heart pieces of songwriting fraught with heavy rock riffs and raw emotion, such as Suffer. The album ends on a soft note with the stripped back Laughing (Or Pretending To Laugh) displaying a fragile vulnerability that Wagner usually masks with angry chords and screamed lyrics.
 
For a group with such a distinctive signature sound, The Smith Street Band have managed to keep this album fresh, delivering a diverse range of tracks unlike anything we’ve heard from them before. This is no doubt aided by the band’s experimentation with synthesizers, electronic drum kits, chorale harmonies and orchestral string instruments, as well as guest appearances from You Am I frontman Tim Rogers, Laura Stevenson and Jess Locke. Much like the relationships these songs were written about, the album weaves through lows and highs with Wagner laying his guts on the table and delivering hard-hitting one liners with his gravelly vocals, doused in the sincerity of someone who is singing about extremely personal experiences.
 
By Kate Streader