Smarts – Who Needs Smarts, Anyway? - New LP
Another recent release from Feel It Records, this one from down-under Australia, boss Aussie sounds, weird-o kids with jack-in-the-box heads playing cards and songs and playing hooky to have a pillow fight slumber party in the afternoon of the attic head of some of anxious egghead kid with a calculator machine in his mind who can't sit still, stomping his sneakers on the linoleum under his desk to the rhythm of 1960s Midwest rock, postwar L.A. R&B and the ACG 1972 caged in this skull, tapping his pen and crunching his pencil, huckleberry dreams of escape in his brain as real as anything else in his world, pushing his 1970s classic rock records through the shredder with the humph of punk and the realities of life, like many things like road trips, tent camping, true love, and breakfast in bed, this is messy and wonderful. -- winch
The band stemmed out of a bedroom demo that was recorded for fun a year earlier by Billy Gardner (bass, vocals) and Mitch Campleman (guitar) in Geelong. After letting it collect dust for 12 months, they assembled a band to perform the songs live featuring Jake Robertson on drums and Sally Buckley on synth; and released the four-song demo cassette, “Smart World”. Stella Rennex later joined the band, largely filling out the sound with her eccentric saxophone parts. “Who Needs Smarts, Anyway?” was recorded by the band themselves over a weekend slumber in Geelong at the DIY studio setup; The Barracks, with finishing coats added in Melbourne before sending off to mix-master-Mikey Young in Rye. There’s a feeling throughout as if the whole thing could collapse into pieces at any moment, and just when you think it’s about to, Smarts weave their way out and into a new direction. Points of reference could be compared to the quirkiness of LA’s Suburban Lawns or Geza X, as well as citing influence from modern sounds like Japanese band Vodovo and the ever-evolving Midwest American punk scene. It could even be viewed as a refreshing and original extension of the so-called “egg punk” genre. the North American pressing of "Who Needs Smarts, Anyway?", limited to 400 copies, comes packaged with a double-sided risograph insert and download code. The mighty Anti Fade Records will be handling the Australian pressing.
Recorded by Smarts in South Geelong and Abbotsford, 2019.
Mixed and mastered by Mikey Young in Rye, 2020.
Photos by Jamie Wdziekonski, taken at Richard Stanley and Amanda Vitartas' office space in Collingwood.
Layout by Carolyn Hawkins.