2011 Top 11 CDs : #11 The Smithereens – 2011
#11 The Smithereens – 2011
When it comes to Pat DiNizio, you never know what he’s going to do next. From running to congress (which he did in NJ in the 90’s) to trying out for a minor league baseball team, he’s anything but predictable. Except when it comes to this band, the Smithereens.
He’s channeled the Smithereens of old on the new record, 2011. The cover reminds me of the Smithereens earlier record entitled “11”, and so does the music. There are no great revelations here, more like variations on old themes, except in a good way. Like a pair of comfortable old shoes….that happen to really kick ass.
It’s the first CD of original material since God Save The Smithereens some ten years ago and the band hasn’t lost a thing. It’s almost the entire original line-up (Severo “The Thrilla” Jornacion having replaced original bassist Mike Mesaros) and, while there are no “Behind the Wall of Sleep” like masterpieces here, every song is strong. Not a cluncker in the bunch. Highlights include: Sorry, One Look at You, Nobody Lives Forever, Turn It Around.
Here’s what Will Hermes at Rolling Stone had to say about The Smithereens’ 2011:
They’ve internalized the lessons of their models, and still crunch harder than most of the power-pop acts they get filed alongside. “Sorry” is a cross between late Sixties London and late Seventies New York City. “One Look At You” chimes like the Byrds; “As Long As You Are Near Me” is a mid-tempo rocker recalling early Elvis Costello or Nick Lowe, with some vintage AM-radio vocal hooks sprinkled on top. You may not remember the tunes clearly in the morning. But good nights with a bar band are like that.
If you’re a Smithereens fan, it’s a must have. If you simply want to remember what kick-ass bands sound like, this will jog your memory.