Knowing, deadpan vocals are drawled across wiry, skeletal lead guitar lines and a jauntily tight rhythm section.
Each song is a leanly, carefully crafted post-punk nugget. The Los Angeles band successfully teases out an underlying anxiety at odds with the upbeat vibes of their power pop fuelled punk. There is a certain lo-fi quality to the delivery, but this belies the level of song writing precision in evidence.
As the Decline of Western Civilization comes into full focus, our ears turn once again to Los Angeles. The first proper full length from Smirk could very well be the soundtrack to a Decline pt. IV, with tracks like “Living in Hell” and “Hopeless” delivered for a whole new generation of latchkey kids. ‘Material’ follows 2021’s 100% TOTAL PUNK ‘EP’ and 2020’s ‘LP’, which collected the first two cassettes-de-quarantine that began Nick Vicario’s run as Smirk. If you’ve worn out your copies of those releases, then ‘Material’ needs no further explanation. But if you’re wondering where the magic is – let’s start with pure, quality songwriting. Vicario and his revolving cast of Smirk players have really done it this time. It’s punk, California, paranoia, guitars, rhythm, and a sense of humor-slash-purpose joining forces to combat reality in the truest sense. Smirk have produced an impressive punk encapsulation of the times across the web of sound on ‘Material’.
—Feel It Records