A push forward into uncharted production territory, The Smith Street Band has delivered More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me, a strong fourth album release via their newly established label Pool House Records.

Bringing together a phenomenal team including the legendary John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., The Hold Steady), the 12-track album takes on new heights in production value thanks to Jeff Rosenstock.

Strings, splashes of synth and electronic drums deliver a well-rounded and exciting experience from the initial listen that, like all Smith Street records, only continues to build through every subsequent spin.

Standouts include Birthdays featuring Jess Locke – romantic in the achingly hopeful way that key writer and front man Wil Wagner does so brilliantly. A vulnerable and balanced blend of Locke’s sonic femininity and Wagner’s broad and powerful lyricism makes for a wonderful second track.

Death To The Lads (complete with a seriously cracker video clip) is a marriage of rock and uplifting Aussie pop at its best. Recalling camaraderie and boyish cheek, The Smith Street Band absolutely nail this track, the swift drum click in the opening bar is nothing short of a sneaky nod to their homegrown rock attitude, which follows them through each and every release.

Laughing (Or Pretending To Laugh) is a brilliant way to finish up. Put together in New York, raw and intimate as Wagner’s music always is, the song pulls together all that a listener feels the album represents; acceptance and resolution.

4/5

The Smith Street Band – More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me

Released: 7 April, 2017 via Pool House Records