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Sills & Smith: Etched

Sills & Smith, a Canadian duo that's really more like a band with hired musicians revolving around vocalist Frank Smith and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Jeremy Sills, is a tough act to figure out. It might be easy to dismiss these guys, because of the bland band name or laid-back vibe or offbeat arrangements or simply because you've never heard of 'em before. But ignore this music at your own peril.

The Glorious Ache, Sills & Smith's last album, explored lyrical themes of loss, despair and cynicism, with musical inspiration by everyone from The Beatles to Warren Zevon. Etched, the group's fourth release, boasts a similar wave of emotions. "Where You'll Find It" is the melodic opener with links to both classic rock and prog, and it's so hummable that you may not even realize the song is about mental illness. At the other end of the spectrum is "Space Junk," a doomy downer of a ditty that references weed and coke and zombies and Martians and God, with a persistent chorus proclaiming, "Weird shit happening to us/We ruled the planet, now we're doomed." Lyricist Frank Smith, indeed, has some weird shit happening in his head.

Sills & Smith are joined by various musicians who contribute dobro, mandolin, drums, cello and other instruments. Collectively, the songs on Etched rock less than they roll. But this is still the DIY group's most accomplished and memorable album.

Track Listing:

1. Where You'll Find It
2. Meet Out By the Lake
3. What You Deserve
4. A Love For All Seasons
5. Space Junk
6. To Be Embraced
7. In Dreams
9. Etched
10. End Times
11. The Sound
12. Give Us Peace
13. Endings & Beginnings

Added: April 4th 2015
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Sills & Smith on ReverbNation
Hits: 1837
Language: english

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