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Sills & Smith: No Way In No Way Out

Not content adhering to any one genre, the Canadian duo of Jeremy Sills (vocals, guitars) and Frank Smith (vocals) play everything from folk to prog to alt.rock on No Way In No Way Out. The follow-up to 2011's Uncertain Vista, this album is about as diverse as you can get. Sills and Smith have drastically different voices one sounds like Warren Zevon and the other recalls any of a number of singers who made small fortunes in the mid-Nineties. But they oddly complement each other, and the retro vibe is cool and timely especially in an era when bands like Soul Asylum and Blues Traveler are releasing new albums.

Bouncy opener "Melancholy World" kicks things off with an irresistible chorus that declares, "Can't escape it." And that's true. Echoing guitars and an anxious rhythm section make this a memorable opening statement and encourage listeners to stick around. "Melancholy World" is followed by "Open Season on Love," which will draw the first comparisons to Zevon. Upbeat songs like "Saturday," "It Doesn't Matter" and "That's Not the Reason" slot nicely next to more laid-back tunes such as "Clouds," "I'm Right Here" and "Life in Miniature. "Would It All Be Different?" is, hands down, No Way In No Way Out's proggiest tune, veering off in several dark and haunting directions while proving Sills & Smith would be wise to focus on prog if or when they decide to narrow their musical focus.

Overlooking multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Edwards, who plays practically everything on these 15 songs (and even sings and writes!), would be a travesty. Without him, it's a fair guess that Sills & Smith would sound like nothing more than a folk duo.

Track Listing:
1) Melancholy World
2) Open Season on Love
3) I Can't Reach You
4) Saturday
5) Clouds
6) Radiance
7) I'm Right Here
8) It Doesn't Matter
9) Pain
10) Would It All Be Different?
11) Life in Miniature
12) That's Not the Reason
13) Light
14) These Ghosts
15) No Way In, No Way Out

Added: July 17th 2012
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Sills & Smith on ReverbNation
Hits: 3022
Language: english

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