Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams asserts the opening track of this fine five-track EP. That assertion both gives this EP its name and sets the tone for what follows. The music evokes a sense of hope, a sense of wanting to get to somewhere, while maintaining a sense of defiance and conviction that no-one and nothing will want to get in the road of that.

The Smith Street Band don’t waste any time on any lead-in or build-up with this one, you’ll find yourself having been seized and taken on a ride from the opening track. From its solid punk beginnings rocking through to a reflective and melancholy middle and rollicking on to a jerking, anthemic and defiant end, you’ll be engaged from the outset. The reins are tightened just a little for Ducks Fly Together, a solid second track which sees some gentler chords opening an infusion of jagged bursts of drumming, and lashes of heavy, angry riffs.

There’s something of a ‘beery’ feel to the EP, a feeling of having a good time, a feeling of being intoxicated by life and living it with mates around you. And, as with a good session at a mate’s packed flat or sharehouse, there’s a feeling of losing one’s sense of time to some degree too; a couple of the tracks find a new lease of life, or a new direction, just when you think they’re spent for the night. Bigger Than Us, for instance, finds a second wind and charges on.

Self Control is the final track and represents a welcome and well-done change of pace. It’s a bit slower, a bit more reflective, with lolling drums, plaintive guitar and some almost-sorrowful vocals, though they’re tinged with that sense of defiance characteristic of the rest of the album.

This is a great EP. There’s a raw realness to the sound, a sense of the music being crafted organically amongst the beer cans strewn on the floor of a suburban garage. There are stories to tell and a defiant sincerity to the vocals; there’s a power to the jagged guitar riffs infused with an ability to pull back and stay in control; and there’s a pure, measured energy to the whiplashing drumming.

The only real beef this reviewer has with The Smith Street Band’s fourth offering stems from his wonder at why these awesome tracks would be detained in an EP? They should be let out to mix with any more brilliance these kids have to offer, I know I was left wanting more of this—more than was constrained to a five-track release. The ostensible reason given is that the EP is, in a way, a snapshot—a ‘volume that explores a period of time between one album and the next.’ Well that’s all fine and dandy isn’t it, but it means that before I can wrap my eardrums around the next instalment of the rocking, solid, defiantly hopeful brilliance that is The Smith Street Band, then I do have to wait. Which I can’t.

The Smith Street Band on Facebook

Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams is out now through Poison City Records

Rating: 26/28 days.




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