Picture Winchester: a quaint, English town undisturbed by the chaotic bustle of surrounding cities. Now picture a punk infused, fuzzy trio who drench themselves in reverb. You’ve just pictured Wild Smiles: a band who’ve been gaining speed since early 2013, and have now zoomed from the country lanes to invade our ears with their debut album ‘Always Tomorrow’.
‘Fool For You’, possibly their most acclaimed single so far, kickstarts the 11-track rock-out. The simplicity of the lyrics and the scaling, fuzz-filled riffs waste no time in enrapturing the listener. Twisting their infectiousness into a surfy whirlpool of black water, from the word go it becomes impossible to escape the buzzy tones of this contagious trio.
Wild Smiles aren’t afraid to look back in order to step forward and craft their own melodies. ‘Everyone’s The Same’, opens similarly to The Jesus and Mary Chain’s ‘Just Like Honey’, as it beats its way into a solemn melody, this blends blissfully into a broken hearted tale of lost romance that will leave you pining for more even if the lyrics are a little clichéd.
The album mainly consists of songs capped at three minutes or so, with the exception of one track, ‘The Best Four Years’. Whilst the guitar tones are consistent and injected with sounds comparable to shoegaze gurus My Bloody Valentine, vocalist Chris Peden takes it down a notch with his shouty vocals, giving their sound a softer, tamer arm. Infectious lyrics coat the track and there is no doubt that these words will soon be spill out the mouths of their fans.
The closing track, ‘I’m Gone’, captures the tone of the album wonderfully. The juxtaposition between the romanticised lyrics in the first half of the album and the ‘fuck this’ tone of the second half is admirable. You’ll realise you’ve been on a journey through a bitter love story, ending with abrupt anger. The scuzzy guitars and battering drums aren’t restricted by this love story, instead Wild Smiles have used it to their advantage, using their punk infused sound to retaliate to the girls who have left them feeling emotionally bitter.
Wild Smiles have enabled their sound to become much more consistent, swaying slightly away from their washy sound in their early material for a record characterised by grungy drones that cling to your ears. Whilst the journey may be obvious, it succeeds in enhancing our love for the lads of quiet ol’ Winchester.
Words: Cerys Kenneally