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The Smile - Wall Of Eyes (Album Review)

Friday, 26 January 2024 Written by Chris Connor

Photo: Frank Lebon

Featuring Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood, alongside Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner, The Smile made a mark for themselves with 2022’s ‘A Light for Attracting Attention’, combining elements of post-punk, jazz, Afrobeat and electronic music with weighty atmospherics that plugged a Radiohead-shaped hole for fans.

The trio’s second album, ‘Wall of Eyes’ impressively expands their palette, with all three members finding room to express themselves without losing sight of a cohesive sound.

The title track sets the tone neatly, with its moody, ethereal feel backed by an ever-present acoustic guitar, while Teleharmonic captures something of the classical and film work that Yorke and Greenwood have undertaken between Radiohead records.

Here, Yorke’s echoey, almost haunting vocals recede into the background as the song’s low melodies are pushed to the forefront by subtle work from Skinner. 

Friend of A Friend is one of the most gorgeous tracks the group have put out, combining the best elements of each member’s skillset into a stunning melting pot as Yorke’s vocals and piano play off Skinner’s beats.

There is an epic quality to many of the tracks as they flirt with different styles without imploding. Under Our Pillows comes in at six minutes and Bending Hectic at more than eight, but each textural shift is eminently interesting and will reward multiple listens. 

At eight tracks this is perhaps a more slight offering than fans might like, but the range of musical influences continues to impress. As with their debut, The Smile prove they are far more than simply Radiohead 2.0. There are plenty of intriguing musical detours as they play with our expectations and never stick to a script, solidifying their rolling rep as some of the UK’s most ambitious musicians.

The Smile Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu March 07 2024 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Sat March 09 2024 - MANCHESTER O2 Victoria Warehouse
Sun March 10 2024 - LONDON Eventim Apollo
Mon March 18 2024 - BRIGHTON Centre
Tue March 19 2024 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Wed March 20 2024 - GLASGOW SEC Armadillo (Formerly Clyde Auditorium)
Fri March 22 2024 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Sat March 23 2024 - LONDON Alexandra Palace

Compare & Buy The Smile Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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