It's been since September of 2014 since I last checked in with The Smile Case. I know, I know, I've been busy. But, hey, so have they. My feeling that this sounds like Tom Waits vocally still stands, but once you get used to it the sound really does come through on its own and eventually it kind of drifts away from those thoughts and you just think of it as being its own sound, which is nice.
Dark acoustics start this CD off and I already am into this right away for the line: "I always figured I deserved this/I never asked why". Don't you feel like that sometimes? Sometimes I feel like I'm not good enough or that I deserve all of the shit that's handed to me, but apparently like most other people I never bother to ask why that is. I come back into my thoughts on the second song of The Hold Steady and then there are also these screamy background vocals which remind me of The Canterbury Effect.
In some ways, this reminds me of something out of that Alkaline Trio scene, which includes but is not limited to Hot Water Music and The Honor System and, yes, I'd really like to hear The Smile Case cover a song by any of those bands. It's clanky too though- in the cymbals- and then "The Going Is Good" slows down, quieter, a little dreamy and an acoustic duet even. "Two Feet & A Heartbeat" brings the energy back as it really packs a punch and I'm thinking of bands now like Samiam, Prevent Falls and Bigwig.
Lyrically this gets pretty heavy and serious on the song "Pill Sick" and overall this just has those darker lyrics with sincerity and I just love how it all comes together with the music really fitting the mood of the words. Additionally, when you listen to this CD and fall in love with it (as I know you will) you can also go find these "Murder Weather" acoustic demos, which is now something I think every artist should do for every album they release. But yes, The Smile Case has really come into their own here with dark rock that makes you think.