steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Smoke Off Vinyl

"Walls" CD


Genres: indie rock, rock

Oct 13 - 19 2003

Thirty four minutes and fifty two seconds later, I'm still not convinced Smoke Off Vinyl are anything more than a run-of-the-mill unknown rock band, but I do see some flashes of real talent on this disc.  They've got the guitars revved up for the majority of the disc (which can get tiresome, I should note), and they like to use simple pop hooks and borderline whiney vocals.

The main problem here, however, is that all of Walls' songs sound the same.  This music would be better suited to a four-song EP format as opposed to a full-length.  But that's forgivable, as these young lads are just starting out and no doubt they're super excited about what they're doing.

It should be noted that the best song on this album is "Near."  It ain't perfect, but the combination of calmer pop and more energetic indie rock is well-done, and some of the melodies are truly effective.  The song that follows it, "Pacific," tries to recreate the soft/hard pop/rock mix-up, but isn't nearly as successful.  Most of the other songs also follow this basic formula, but only "Talk It Over" really works.

Flashes of promise are present on Walls, Smoke Off Vinyl's first album, but as an album it is just a start.  If they become a more well-known band one day, this disc could be worth something - otherwise, it's just a mediocre indie rock disc without anything new to say.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 8 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2003]