Louder Than War

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Smilex are the hell in your head, your darkest thoughts against dirty bass lines and colliding guitars.
Something about this band appeals to both misguided teenagers looking for a religion and lost adults disillusioned with everything that life hasn‘t offered. Smilex make you face what you’re most scared of - mundaneness, sex, violence and insanity. Each performance they give, no matter whether it’s to 5 people or 50, singer Lee strips himself naked in front of you metaphorically and physically as his art pours from him. It’s like witnessing a life speeded up - birth, puberty, insanity, senile dementia and death. I fear he won’t live very long before his anger breeds into cancer and eats out his black heart whilst ex-lovers and enemies team up in a angry mob and storm his Bastille, whilst Lee looks at them bemused and says 'but I told you all along I was like this...'.
Smilex are the throbbing vein in your head nagging at you that things aren’t right, you shouldn’t be accepting everything the way they are and you aren’t ok. Last November they produced an album, ‘7’, that aggressively and ground-shatteringly takes you on a journey through the dark places in the human psyche that contribute to the seven deadly sins. This is a serious piece of work - every scream and every guitar crescendo has been crafted out of sheer passion and a desire to be heard and understood. There is a sense in every song of the need to release all of the shit that life forces us to accept - often this manifests itself in the form sexual release but this sexual release is as much a way to hurt and punish each other as it is to get our rocks off. The message could be understood as - we’re all fucked and therefore we should just fuck our damaged hearts out until we die.
Smilex are anti-conformity, anti-boredom, anti-industry. They refuse to go away just because they aren’t producing music that is easily marketable in this sleepy age of bland guitar driven music. When Hard Fi are asleep they have nightmares where Smilex creep into their beds and rape them to death. Smilex embody why the underground is the underground but seeing them supporting The Damned at the Carling Academy last year it is clear they should be on larger stages and receiving well-deserved acknowledgment for their considerable talents. There is no other unsigned band around to rival their passion, determination and stage performance. As Lee roams about onstage and through his audience, looking for a focus for his rage or sexual expression, no one is safe. You could have this formidable, small man screaming into your groin or you could have his cock in your ear.
Smilex are on a mission to wake us up and get us up off our asses, whether they will achieve this in an age of apathy is yet to be seen but I think they are part of a one-band musical revolution that needs to happen. Maybe music isn’t on a downward spiral after all. Please save us, Smilex. We need you and we don’t mind what you want to do with us - we are willing victims. Buy this album, see this band - you need them in your life.

‘7’ their debut album is out now on itunes, Amazon.co.uk and Play.com. You can find out more about Smilex on their official website http://www.smilex.co.uk or their myspace page http://www.myspace.com/smilex.