Smile, Look Alive - Ringside Seats
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: July 9, 2011
The 2011 EP release Ringside Seats from Smile, Look Alive, their first release, is short and to the point. At only three tracks long, the band manages to sound like they have been doing this for years. It screams a maturity in the scene that a band this new shouldn’t have.
With a blend of pop punk and a slight hardcore edge coming from the guitars, the band manages to create a fun, catchy and memorable sound.
The opening track “Casablanca was a Disaster Movie” clearly showcases the English accent and vocal talents of lead singer Dan Wilson. There is a slight nostalgia to the track. It brings back memories of the beginning of the pop punk/hardcore sound, early Four Year Strong seem like a big influence, amongst others.
Track 2, "Old Habits Die Hard (and I'm Bruce Willis)" is catchy and fun. These guys aren’t lyrical geniuses
“It’s the way that you smile when you give me the eye, I’ll never say no”
but after you’re second listen you’ll know every word and you’ll be singing along, and loving it. The repeat chant towards the end, sounds like it could be right at home on an earlier Blink 182 record, with the almost Tom Delong sounding vocal.
The closing track, “Against The Ropes”, is probably the strongest track on the EP. Once again there is an obvious influence from early Four Year Strong. Group chants and slightly distorted guitar are featured heavily. The lyrics and stronger here, and like the whole EP, the track will have you singing along and enjoying every second of it.
Overall, SLA are nothing new, but who says that’s a bad thing? The band clearly had a lot of fun recording the EP, and it is very evident in their music. They have managed to release a fun and catchy EP, which shows talent and maturity beyond their years.
The band are still new, and if they are able to release an EP this tight and fun on their first attempt then they can only go uphill with anything they go on to do. 2012 will see the band release some new singles at the beginning of the year.