Tag: alternative rock

New Video: The Smile Shares Eerie and Haunting “Wall of Eyes”

The Smile is an acclaimed outfit that features some of the world’s most accomplished musicians — and a couple of household names: Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, and Sons of Kemet‘s Tom Skinner. 

Last year, the trio released their critically applauded Nigel Godrich-produced full-length debut A Light For Attracting Attention. The album saw the acclaimed outfit collaborating with London Contemporary Orchestra and a full brass section of contemporary British jazz musicians that include Bryon WallenTheon Cross and Nathaniel CrossChelsea CarmichaelRobert Stillman, and Jason Yarde

The Smile’s sophomore album, the Sam Petts-Davies Wall of Eyes is slated for a January 26, 2024 through XL Recordings. The album, which was recorded in Oxford and legendary Abbey Road Studios features string arrangements from London Contemporary Orchestra.

Wall of Eye‘s first single, album title track “Wall of Eyes” continues a run of haunting and eerily meditative material with the song seeing the trio pair Yorke’s imitable and yearning delivery with a glitchy arrangement of strummed guitar melody, glistening strings and gently padded drums that evokes — at least to me — a slow burning sense of dread and unease.

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the accompanying video for “Wall of Eyes” begins with the band’s Thom Yorke sitting in a front of a mirror in a meditative pose, and then follows him walking through a busy city and sitting in a crowded pub by himself. The world rushes by him with furious intensity before a surreal, Being John Malkovich-like ending.

Slated for a June 2, 2023 release through Roswell Records/RCA Records, Foo Fighters‘ 11th album, the Greg Kurstin and Foo Fighters co-produced But Here We Are is informed and inspired by a year of staggering losses, personal introspection and bittersweet remembrances. While reportedly being a brutally honest and emotionally raw response to everything the band members have endured over the past year, But Here We Are is also a testament to the healing powers of music, friendship and family.

Fittingly, the 10-song album run the emotional gamut from rage and sorrow, to serenity and acceptance and all the myriad points in between. But the album is also marks the first chapter of the band’s new life.

The album’s first single, the anthemic album opener “Rescued” manages to channel The Colour and the Shape-era and There Is Nothing Left to Lose-era Foos but with a grizzled, hard-earned and harder-fought-for wisdom and maturity. Perhaps more than ever, there’s a weary, heartbroken exhaustion.. And yet, there’s also an irrepressible joy. Life will kick your ass and spit in your face. But if you’ve got your favorite tunes, your best pals and your family by your side, you can somehow get through almost anything.

But Here We Are is available for pre-order and presale now. All pre-orders and pre-saves include “Rescued” as an instant free download.

Since their formation in Cincinnati back in 1986, The Afghan Whigs — currently Greg Dulli (vocals, guitar), John Curley (bass), Patrick Keeler (drums), multi-instrumentalist Rick Nelson and the band’s newest member, Blind Melon’s Christopher Thorn (guitar) — have a long-held reputation for refusing to play by convention: During the flannel and plaid of the early 90s grunge era, the members of The Afghan Whigs stood apart from their contemporaries for wearing suits and for being more likely to slide into a soulful groove than a power chord-driven riff. 

Reuniting after an 11 year hiatus in 2012, the JOVM mainstays released two critically applauded albums, 2014’s Do to the Beast and 2017’s In Spades, that found the band writing and recording music that furthered their story together, while pushing their sound in new directions. 

Slated for a September 9, 2022 release through Royal Cream/BMG, the JOVM mainstays’ ninth album — and first in five years — the Christopher Thorn co-produced How Do You Burn? reportedly picks up on the sound and appraoch of 2014’s Do to the Beast and 2017’s In Spades and pushes it even further. With the pandemic forcing Greg Dulli to abandon plans to support his critically applauded solo album Random Desire, the band began working on How Do You Burn? in September 2020 and continued over the next 14 months in remote recording sessions: Dulli, Thorn and Keeler in California; Curley, Jon Skibic (guitar) and Nelson laying down and engineering their own parts in Cincinnati, New Jersey and New Orleans respectively. “Once we got the system down, we started flying,” Greg Dulli says. 

The album features guest spots from a collection of frequent and longtime collaborators including — the late Mark Lanegan, a collaborator of Dulli’s in The Twilight Singers and The Gutter Twins, as well as a close friend. Lanengan sung backup vocals on two album tracks. “It was Mark who named the album,” Dulli says in press notes. Susan Marshall, who contributed to 1998’s 1965 contributes vocals on album track “Catch A Colt.” Van Hunt,who toured with the band in 2012 and contributed to 2014’s Do to the Beast, contributes vocals on “Jyla” and “Take Me There.” And last but definitely not least, Marcy Mays, lead vocalist on Gentlemen‘s “My Curse” contributes vocals to “Domino and Jimmy,” a song that Dulli had specifically written with Mays in mind. 

So far I’ve written about two of the album’s singles:

  • I’ll Make You See God,” which is arguably one of the hardest and aggressive songs they’ve written and recorded in close to 30 years. 
  • The Getaway,” a widescreen ballad that pairs Dulli’s whiskey and cigarette-like croon with a gorgeous string arrangement, twinkling keys and Dulli’s unerring knack for crafting earnest, lived-in material with enormous, arena rock friendly hooks. 

How Do You Burn?’s third and latest single “A Line of Shots,” a woozy yet anthemic ballad featuring heavily distorted and delay pedaled guitars, Greg Dulli’s imitable croon paired with a slow-burning groove and the band’s unerring knack for rousing, fist-up-in-the-air choruses. Perhaps unsurprisingly, “A Line of Shots” was so much of a crowd favorite during the JOVM mainstays’ May 2022 US tour that the band decided that the song needed its own moment in the sun.

The JOVM mainstays are about to embark on a UK and European Union tour that starts on July 23, 2022 and ends on August 10, 2022. The band will take a few weeks off and then go on a month-long US tour that includes a September 15, 2022 stop at Brooklyn Steel. They’ll cap a big year with a return to European Union and UK. Tour dates are below.


07/23                Brighton, UK                              Concorde 2

07/24                Suffolk, UK                                 Latitude Festival

07/26                Frankfurt, Germany                    Batschkapp

07/28                Vienna, Austria                           Flex

07/29                Prague, Czech Republic             Lucerna Music Bar

07/30                Berlin, Germany                          Metropol

08/01                Oslo, Norway                              Parkteatret Scene

08/02                Stockholm, Sweden                    Debaser

08/03                Copenhagen, Denmark               Amager Bio

08/05                Hamburg, Germany                    Uebel & Gefährlich (Half House)

08/06                Nijmegen, Netherlands               Roosje Live In Park @ Openluchttheater Goffert

08/08                Stuttgart, Germany                     Im Wizemann

08/09                Cologne, Germany                      Luxor

08/10                Lokeren, Belgium                        Lokersee Feesten


09/09                Minneapolis, MN                       Fine Line Music Café

09/10                Chicago, IL                               Metro

09/11                Cincinnati, OH                          Bogarts

09/12                Detroit, MI                                   St. Andrews Hall

09/14                Washington, D.C.                     9:30 Club

09/15                Brooklyn, NY                            Brooklyn Steel

09/16                Philadelphia, PA                       Underground Arts

09/17                Boston, MA                              Paradise

09/20                Charlottesville, VA                    Jefferson Theatre

09/21                Asheville, NC                            The Grey Eagle

09/22                Birmingham, AL                        Saturn

09/24                New Orleans, LA                      One Eyed Jacks

09/28                Austin, TX                                 Mohawk

09/29                Dallas, TX                                 The Echo Lounge & Music Hall

10/01                Denver, CO                              Gothic Theatre

10/02                Salt Lake City, UT                     The Commonwealth Room

10/05                Portland, OR                            Wonder Ballroom

10/06                Seattle, WA                              The Showbox

10/08               San Francisco, CA                    The Regency Ballroom

10/09           Dana Point, CA       Ohana Encore

10/11                Tucson, AZ                               191 Toole

10/12                Los Angeles, CA                       Belasco Theatre


10/22                Madrid, Spain                           Teatro Barceló

10/23                Barcelona, Spain                      Apolo 2

10/25                Milan, Italy                                Santeria

10/26                Rome, Italy                               Largo

10/28                Munich, Germany                     Freiheitshalle

10/29                Zurich, Switzerland                   Bogen F

10/30                Luxembourg                              Den Atelier

11/01                Amsterdam, Netherlands           Paradiso

11/02                Antwerp, Belgium                      De Roma

11/04                Manchester, UK                         Cathedral

11/05                Glasgow, UK                               St. Lukes

11/06                London, UK                                 KOKO