New Music Review
Smile Empty Soul – Rarities
By Andy Upton
From the land of “whatever happened to those guys”……….. Smile Empty Soul just released Rarities – a collection of songs recorded over the course of their careers that never made it onto one of their albums. There are some seriously rare gems here and lifelong fans of this band will be thoroughly pleased.
Smile Empty Soul is a hard rock trio that originated in Los Angeles, CA in the late 90’s and has stayed true to their brand of “real as it gets” hard rock to this day. After three charting singles/videos from the debut release, the band ran into trouble with their record company and found themselves working extra hard in the trenches signed to indie label’s. This would become their destiny, as they would go on to release record after record, on label after label. The band has become known for its constant touring and never wavering honest sound/lyrics.
Starting off with the dreamy, slow tempo of “One at a Time” (don’t worry – it quickly picks up the pace), Smile Empty Soul display the sound that made them respected throughout the land. A couple of stripped down demos hit the mark as both “Something New” and “Wasted Town” are superb. A full band version of “This is War” off of their 2003 debut self-titled album is wonderful. Lead vocalist/guitarist Sean Danielson is in fine form as are the rhythm section of bassist Ryan Martin and drummer Jake Kilmer.
Throwing in two songs they worked on with famous singers, “Precious Things” with Tori Amos and “Possession” with Sarah McLachlan, was a nice touch as both of them are well done. A rousing cover of Nirvana’s “Aneurysm” is also a nice touch as Sean & the boys played it fast and hard enough to make it their own. With its 8th album on the way, and a 2017 calendar full of tour dates, Smile Empty Soul seems to be as strong as ever, and further cementing themselves as one of the hardest working rock bands in existence.
for more info, check out the bands site here