Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Smithereens Are Back In A Big Way

A few years ago, "The Smithereens 11" had been calling my name from the CD shelf. This was a record that I played to the point of sickness, so it was relegated to the "never wanna hear it again" portion of my brain. I wrote about the rediscovery for Huffington. It's HERE. (No mention of Radiohead anywhere, so only two people commented.)

Since the release of "11," The Smithereens have released one too many uninspired records, almost all of which have been misguided "theme" records:

"Meet The Smithereens," where they play "Meet The Beatles."
"The Smithereens Play Tommy" where they play "Tommy."
"Christmas With The Smithereens" where they also play "Tommy."

(Okay, kidding, but you get my drift.)

Today, the Jersey boys are back with "Smithereens 2011," a record that picks up nicely from where "11" left off. Clocking in at a comfortable 45 minutes, "Smithereens 2011" is power pop at its finest. Pat DiNizio voice even sounds younger than it has on the last few albums. Maybe this return to form has something to do with Don Dixon and Mitch Easter back in the producer's and engineer's chairs. Or maybe, the creative juices have had enough rest after years of cover albums. Whatever it is, The Smithereens are back in a big way.

Go get this record now!


Anything Should Happen said...

Great article as ever and I nod at it all.

I was exactly in the same place as you, but had got to the point where I hadn't even chased 2011, but I'll grab it now on your rec.

Part of it was probably being pissed at missing the massive Rarities Box Set, which I still hunt without wanting to pay the chancer's prices on the ebay clones out of principle and part of it was as you say because they'd just become a Cover band.

steve simels said...

This is very good news.

Although I miss original bassist Mike Mesaros. Apart from being a really interesting player and a very funny guy, he was the only Smithereen with teen appeal, if you know what I mean.

bglobe313 said...

Let's hope they are back! One covers album was fine, but give me a break.

Just today at lunch I was recounting how they were the loudest band I ever experienced. Ears ringing for a week after a small club show, which no doubt means permanent damage that will come back and hit me as I progress further toward the grave.

These guys define POWER pop.

Yeah, I missed that rarities set too. Wish it would show up somewhere.


Noam Sane said...

Yet to be convinced. Have always struck me as derivative/cliched in the extreme. My ears and mind remain open.

bglobe313 said...


But at least they are derived from the BEST! And they use the BEST cliches!

Ace K.

Anything Should Happen said...

It's a fair point Ace, but they don't add anything to the originals with the covers.

I don't really see them as copy cats in their own work because there's a much harder sound, particularly live.

Off topic, a band I have no appetite for in any way. However their constant mining of sub Beatles material with the lyrics of a four year old, turned a lot of kids on to The Beatles which is no bad thing.

I'd also hope that Lord Weller's mining of Curtis Mayfield and The Small Faces makes some people dig their stuff out.

I've never had a problem with any band that are derivative as long as they add something.

Well into the sixth decade of Rock and Roll or popular music, is there anyone left who can be original? Is there anything left to discover?

Sal Nunziato said...

Don't think I'm not storing your Weller trashing, Sir.

Anything Should Happen said...

Ha ha,

It's always a good thing to mention who you are talking about and the observant will notice that I didn't mention it was Oasis who are the four year old lyric writers.

jeff said...

I have one of those Box Sets if you are really interested

bglobe313 said...


I would be more than happy to get ahold of that boxed set in one form or antoher.

Please feel free to email me at:


The weird stuff in caps is to try to keep that email from trolling bots (no joke).

Ace K.

Anything Should Happen said...

Hi Jeff,

Many Thanks for the offer.

I managed to get one over the weekend, it's winging it's way to me as we speak and I will soon hopefully be on Smithereens overload.

I do hope it's worth the wait.

Thanks again, like Buses really, no sniff of one for light years and then two come along together.

Anything Should Happen said...

Unless I'm mistaken ACE you've typo'd your email, unless it's changed of course.

Put The Windbreakers cd away and concentrate!!!

bglobe313 said...

Well, Don, I could claim that supposed typo was a further security measure, but the person (I think) did figure out the f-up and contacted me. Or was that you, jerking my chain?

Ace K. - aka bglobe313