Do you like getting absolutely shit-faced and wanted to listen to some good alt-rock music? Have you ever wondered what James Dewees of Reggie And The Full Effect would sound like fronting Gin Blossoms with a kind of punk rock vibe? Is swimming your absolute favorite thing to do in life? Well then I got the album for you.
Murder Weather, the newest album by Canada’s high energy, party bringers The Smile Case, is the go-to soundtrack for your next house party while you down a can of PBR. It’s a strange little album (it’s the group’s shortest album in their discography so far, being only ten songs long) that bounces between punk rock in the same vein as PKEW PKEW PKEW and soft acoustic that breathes in elements found in This Wild Life.
This is the group’s second album as a band (prior to 2014’s Angel Beach, The Smile Case consisted solely of guitarist/vocalist Ben Andress) shows that they’re improving their craft together, sounding as tight as ever. Drummer Jackson Cronmiller and bassist Shane McElhone suit Andress well, helping back their gritty frontman with the sound he needs.
One of the most impressive things on Murder Weather are the guests on it. For starters, the album’s opening number ends with Grey Gordon of Kill Surf City backing up Andress with his acoustic guitar. Boys Night Out’s Connor Lovat-Fraser shreds his vocals on the somewhat aggressive “Pill Sick”, giving the song a rougher edge than any of the other ten songs. Justis Krar from Single Mothers appears on “Dissonant”, backing up Andress on vocals. But the biggest shocking guest on the album has to be Wheatus’s own Brenden Brown on the acoustic track “The Going Is Good”. Brown’s soft, whispery voice helps bring in the emotion to this sad song, singing, “It’s hard to believe after all these years you still end up showing up.”
The album continues to show the trio expanding their craft, showing Andress that he has no signs of slowing down the musical baby he created a decade ago. The only negative thing about the album is that Andress’s rough, gritty vocals might put off some listeners, but but his voice does fluctuate on tracks like “Dissonant”, “I Don’t Want To Go To Hell”, and the album’s closer “Lifetimes”. His voice will grow on you and once it does, you’ll start enjoying this fun album filled with heartbreak and loneliness. Murder Weather is quite an underrated treat that you should check out ASAP.