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The Smith Street Band

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Listen: Lucy Wilson – “Wake up Alone”

Lucy Wilson by Ian Laidlaw

This September Jackknife will be releasing the debut 7″ from Lucy Wilson titled Full To The Brim. Known for her collaboration with Wil Wagner as the second member of Mulder & Scully and on The Smith Street Band‘s track The Belly of Your Bedroom; Lucy has also been performing solo in the pub festival circuit at The Poison City Weekender in her hometown of Melbourne, Blood Sweat & Beers in Sydney and All Tomorrow’s Shoeys in Tasmania.

“Drawing inspiration from the present day Bic Runga and Gillian Welch to the past in Hank Williams, Lucy Wilson frolics between folk, pop and poetic storytelling with a seemingly casual ease. . . Arming herself with a six string acoustic and her trusty ukulele, Lucy recently headed south for the hills of Hobart to record her debut EP with Lincoln LeFevre at The Infirmary studios, built on the grounds of the old Tasmanian Women’s Prison. . . From the nonchalant narratives to the raw romance of her lyricism, the strength of Lucy’s music lies in its honesty and openness.”

Full To The Brim will be available to pre-order with an instant download in August through Jackknife. The 7″ will be out this September but for now you can stream a song about a dead beat dude, Wake up Alone below. For more information check out her Facebook page.

Listen: The Smith Street Band – “Bigger Than Us”

TSSB Press Picture

The Smith Street Band‘s new 10″ EP titled Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams is set to be released on August 9th, with pre-orders available now from Poison City Records. After completing tours of Australia, China and the USA, the four piece outfit recorded this new EP at Melbourne’s Sing Sing Studios with Matt Voigt. It will be released just prior to the band’s national headline tour with Joyce Manor and Cheap Girls. The pre-orders are available in sky blue, black, mustard and chlorine coloured vinyls or in CD form. Everyone placing an order today will go in the draw for one of 50 tickets to a special launch day show in Melbourne on August 9th and the first 100 orders will also receive a limited edition sew-on patch. You can listen to one of the tracks titled, Bigger Than Us off of the upcoming EP below.

Stream: Jen Buxton – “Desperation Demos”

Jen Buxton
Jen Buxton‘s Desperation Demos are set to be released on a 7″ by Midnight Funeral records with pre-orders available now. Jen Buxton, hailing from New South Wales, recorded the songs over the course of two hours in Wil Wagner’s (The Smith Street Band) spare room. The demos include lyrically self-deprecating acoustic originals, a Fences cover and a mention of Lincoln LeFevre. If you missed out on her debut release, Don’t Change Your Plans on Poison City Records be sure to give it a listen too. The pre-orders are available on black and grey vinyl. Red vinyl 7″s can be purchased solely from Poison City Records, and half purple/half green vinyls will be purchasable at The Weekender. You can stream Desperation Demos below or on her Bandcamp and be sure not to miss out on the pre-order of the 7″.

Listen: Being Amazing!! – “Perfect Male Specimen”

Being Amazing!!
Being Amazing!! Australian pop-punk band today released their debut album on 7″ vinyl titled Perfect Male Specimen. The band consists of Wil Wagner from The Smith Street Band on bass and vocals, Tom Lawson a former member of the afore mentioned band on vocals and guitar and Dave Brown on drums. Perfect Male Specimen was recorded and mixed by Damien Maunders at Brady Music and mastered by Jason Sandford at DEX Mastering. The album’s use of fast paced distorted guitar strumming and zealous vocals make this album worth a listen. You can purchase the 7″ from Jack Knife Music, buy the digital version from their Bandcamp page on a “Name Your Price” basis or stream it below.

Track Listing:

Side A
01. Notice of Objection (The First One)
02. All The Things We Would Rather Be Doing
03. Tour Dates
04. 06! 1109! (The Long One)

Side B
05. (Sorry Lucy)
06. The Song That Tom Hates
07. The Drunken Magicians Final Act
08. $$$$ (ATM)
09. Woah!! (The Last One)

Listen: Wil Wagner – “Laika”

Wil Wagner
Pre-orders for Wil Wagner’s upcoming solo release Laika are now available from Poison City Records. Two out of the eight new tracks are available to listen on Poison City’s bandcamp page, including How They Made Us and the much anticipated Laika. The album was recorded in Tasmania in December of last year with producer and fellow Poison City artist Lincoln LeFevre.

After being blown away by Wagner’s lyrics and sound on The Smith Street Band’s latest album Sunshine & Technology, I am excited to hear this collection of new acoustic solo songs. You can order the 12″ vinyl and CD from the Poison City Records Store and listen to two of the tracks below.

Listen: Pairs – “If this cockroach doesn’t die, I will.”

Pairs, a Shanghai two piece post-punk band, at the start of last month released a 17 track double vinyl titled If this cockroach doesn’t die, I will. Recorded at the start of July in a bomb shelter in Shanghai, China with The Horses, it was then released by Metal Postcard on vinyl, a Hong Kong based label.

This Australian and Chinese duo create garage sounding post punk, with an element of hardcore in it. Vocalist and drummer Xiao Zhong yells out his simple yet inspiring lyrics, accompanied by guitarist F’s constant distortion filled strumming which keeps each track moving along. Lyrically, I was surprised to hear references to The Smith Street Band, which made me like Pairs even more. You can pick up their new album on their Bandcamp page along with many other previous releases.

Review: The Smith Street Band – Sunshine & Technology

The Smith Street Band – Sunshine & Technology

Released: August 24, 2012
Label: Poison City Records
Purchase: Poison City Records

In the past year, I have become very fond of the wave of bands coming from Australia, with a folk-punk aesthetic. In particular, The Smith Street Band, a five piece band from Melbourne whom I interviewed earlier this year which can be found here.

Their sophomore record, Sunshine & Technology, released on August 24th, has had high expectations after their first LP No One Gets Lost Anymore which didn’t have a single track that disappointed. Self-described as “Folk Party Punk” with the most honest lyrics I have ever heard, Wil Wagner, does not take the same approach to his songwriting as many current day bands do. Instead of arrogantly trying to make his lyrics appeal to every listener, he writes very personally about emotions, mishaps, parties, and his views of society. In “I Want Friends”, he howls out social commentary and a way to live life through “exist[ing] between the margins, not between the lines.”

Sunshine & Technology is more band orientated than their debut album, as opposed to solo songs With added guitars and drums, each song now is much fuller and definitely written with the entire band in mind. The beloved, distinct Smith Street Band sound with their addictive folk melodies, backed up by punk-esque sounding guitars and a rhythmic drum beat is present in this release. My personal favorites alongside “I Want Friends” which I mentioned previously, are “Tom Busby” and “Don’t Mention The War” for their sound and Wagner’s lyrical genius. “The things you loved started gathering dust years ago. You know more than anyone would give you credit for, we’re killing ourselves to live the best life possible.” (Tom Busby). The final song that allows the album to end with a bang, “Don’t Mention The War” escalates to a cohesive masterpiece with each instrument playing loudly as Wagner cries out above everything.

The Smith Street Band are first doing a national tour of Australia which has already commenced, followed by a nine day stop over in China for six shows and then a month in the U.S. Tour details can be found on their Facebook page, and the Poison City Records website.

This album, alongside their debut album, are my version of the 90’s generation’s Nevermind by Nirvana. Sunshine & Technology is an album not to be ignored, and is sure to receive critical acclaim. It can be purchased in mp3 format from iTunes and in CD and vinyl record from the Poison City Records website. You can also listen to a free stream of the album here.


Standout Tracks: “I Want Friends”, “Tom Busby”, “Don’t Mention The War”

1. Sunshine & Technology
2. I Can’t Feel My Face
3. I Want Friends
4. Why I Can’t Draw
5. Stay Young
6. What’s Changed
7. Tom Busby
8. Young Drunk
9. When I Said Us I Meant Them
10. Don’t Mention The War

Interview: The Smith Street Band

The Smith Street Band, who released their debut LP No One Gets Lost Anymore last summer, managed to respond to some questions during their current tour. Their folk punk approach to the music that they create, along with lyrics ranging from themes of melancholy to partying, really make this band distinct. I encourage you to check out their Bandcamp page and download both of their releases. If you own a turntable, you can also purchase the vinyl records of the 7 inch from Jackknife Music and their LP from Poison City Records.You can read the full interview below.

What are your names and what are your roles in the band?

Wil Wagner – Vocals/Guitar, Tom Lawson – Guitar/Vocals, Lee Hartney – Guitar, Michael Fitzgerald – Bass, Chris Cowburn – Drums, Vocals

What is the origin of your band’s name?

We were originally called Wil Wagner and The Smith Street Band, as a take off of Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, but changed the name to just the Smith Street Band as the band became more and more of a collaborative effort. (more…)