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Smirk: EP cassette

Smirk: EP cassette


Tags: · 20s · 77 & KBD · garage · hcpmf · punk
Regular price
$9.00
Sale price
$9.00

Smirk is a solo project from Nic Vicario (CEMENTO). Following the release of ‘LP’ on Feel It (US) and Drunken Sailor (EU/UK) earlier this year, Smirk is back with a brand new EP. While ‘LP’ compiled Smirk’s two limited run cassettes, ‘EP’ is seven fresh tracks of wiry well-crafted punk with heaps of hooks. Sharp guitars and anxious one note leads adding tension to the locked in propulsive groove of the bass and drums. Nic Vicario, doing his best ‘man on wire’ routine, exudes cool confidence while poking at the anxieties of modern life. Strutting his way to the apocalypse one jittery jam at a time, ‘EP’ is agitated, catchy, and bouncy as hell.

200 pro-printed clear/clear cassettes housed in a color J-Card inside a Norelco box. Recorded by Nic Vicario. Mastered by Will Killingsworth. Art by Smoking Room.


Our take: With this new EP, Smirk has the unique distinction of having a simultaneous release on Iron Lung Records (cassette) and Total Punk Records (vinyl). That should be a clue for you that this EP is special. As Dominic mentioned in his staff pick a few weeks ago, Smirk’s EP offers seven crackling tracks of punk-infused pop. Not pop-punk, of course, but something far less stylized. While they don’t have the faux-English qualities of bands that emulate their style, Smirk reminds me of Cleaners from Venus, Television Personalities, and the Times, all of whom made homespun pop music informed by punk’s DIY aesthetics and emphasis on energy and drive. While I am, of course, a punk to my bone, it’s the poppiest moments of EP that hit the hardest, like the wistful closing track “Lost Cities” and the bouncy and sunny “So Original,” with its cool Wilko Johnson-esque rockabilly riff. Each track feels like its own little universe though, and the EP’s variety and brevity is an infectious combination.