Smother, 'Great White Hoax.'
(Global Warming Records)

Smother have been a busy band of late. After releasing two singles and their debut album 'Great White Hoax,' the three piece are now embarking upon a UK tour.
Smother are a band with attitude, with a rebellion to life's mediocrity that runs throughout this fantastic album.
'This Generation Cannot Say No' opens the proceedings, capturing the angst that drive the band setting the mood for rebellion. 'It's getting harder to wake up,' Luke Branch sings in an angry yet smooth and rich voice. It's edgy punk with energy.
Smother formed in 2002 by musicians Branch, Leon Marshall on bass and vocals, and Dave Lucas on drums and vocals. They paid for the recording costs by working two jobs each for six months, a passion and commitment to what they do that shows through the music in droves.
The album, although capturing their unique sound, shows Smother in a variety of different emotions and situations. 'Understand' is played tenderly as a contrast to the rebelliousness found in earlier tracks, breaking into foo-fighters style crashing rhythms and a memorably beautiful melody. The refrain drives the drums to build atmospheric tension which crashes back through to truly awesome guitars. The track then is at its most poignant when it strips back the layers to reveal naked vocals, revealing the multi-layered functions of this band.

'Find a Happy Place' deals with the feeling of trying to feel happy anywhere, even if you know deep down it's in the wrong place.
The best track on the album comes three quarters of the way through, in terms of both melody and style. 'Toy' is concerned with relationships and partners, sexual chemistry and power games. Melodically the tune is a brilliant sparkly indie-rock song with hints of power chases below the surface. The voice is joined by heavy instruments as the band sing 'I toy with you lately' overlaid by another singing 'toy, toy, toy.' The verse returns at that point with a tightly structured flawless four lines before launching back to crescendo.
The track is infectiously catchy and brilliantly crafted, demonstrating Smother's special skill in stripping instruments down to bring them back with great effect. More importantly, the track gives us listeners the chance to hear the band sing about their sexual politics.
And that's the clincher for Smother. Not only are their crashing guitar riffs and kick-ass vocals amazing, they ooze sex appeal. They've got everything and should have an amazing career ahead.

By Charlotte Cairns