Review: The Smithereens '2011' (eOne Music)

Bands that stand the test of time have their own sound, and there’s no mistaking The Smithereens. These guys—best known for songs such as “Green Thoughts” and “Behind the Wall of Sleep”—haven’t put out an album in 12 years, but 15 seconds into their superb new release, there’s no doubt The Smithereens are back. The group has updated their low-end-heavy guitar sounds on this record
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Bands that stand the test of time have their own sound, and there’s no mistaking The Smithereens. These guys—best known for songs such as “Green Thoughts” and “Behind the Wall of Sleep”—haven’t put out an album in 12 years, but 15 seconds into their superb new release, there’s no doubt The Smithereens are back. The group has updated their low-end-heavy guitar sounds on this record; there’s a fuller, more layered feel in general than on classic records like Green Thoughts(1988) and Especially for You (1986). But in large part, it’s clear that the members (lead vocalist/guitarist Pat DiNizio, guitarist/vocalist Jim Babjak, drummer/percussionist/vocalist Dennis Diken and bassist/vocalist The Thrilla) wanted to recapture that vintage Smithereens sound. In fact, they wrote the excellent songs on 2011 in the same New York City rehearsal space where they wrote and rehearsed the material for Green Thoughts, and they brought in the production team of Don Dixon and Mitch Easter, who recorded and produced the band’s debut (as well as loads of other great albums of that period). This record is full of catchy, well-crafted tracks, defined by those familiar guitar sounds and rhythms, and DiNizio’s deep, expressive voice.

Producer: Don Dixon. Engineers: Dixon, Mitch Easter. Recording Studio: Fidelitorium (Kernersville, N.C.). Mixed by Dixon at Spa (Canton, Ohio). Mastering: Greg Calbi/Sterling Sound (New York City).