Wetwood Smokes: Better Man

by thethreepennyguignol

In Britain these days, it’s hard to find popular American indie bands on the radio or music channels. Even if you aren’t a techno-luddite like myself and use the internet to act out your obsession, it’s clear that new American indie bands are few and far between.

So thank God for Wetwood Smokes: a Los Angeles trio ready to cut through the angst/emo revival that is showing its ugly head again, and remind us of a time when the yanks listened to British bands and became something interesting, like Interpol.

Not that Wetwood Smokes are a rip off of these sensibilities; rather they celebrate the kind of subtlety and creativity that these sensibilities produce. Take their first single, Better Man: a mix rolling drums and chiming guitar, reminiscent of The Boxer Rebellion’s best work, but unlike that band Smokes go about their lyrical business in a less bombastic manner. Better Man is an apologetic promise to either become or to find a better man who possess the things he is lacking.

Yet the band themselves certainly don’t lack ambition and creativity as their expert control of the music’s tempo keeps the song from going into easy emotional beats or just downright cheese. Not surprising as each bandmate-stepbrothers Josh Bowman & Steven Howard and childhood friend Chrystian Cano- frequently switch instruments and roles within different songs. This, their debut single, is a promising sign of things to come. With the volatile nature of the trio’s roles, expect to be surprised by their new release.

By Kevin Boyle