Dye It Blonde

Click to listen to Smith Westerns' Dye It Blonde

The second disc from this Chicago trio is what David Bowie might call a total blam-blam — an overpowering blast of glam-rocking gorgeousness. Smith Westerns' home-recorded 2009 debut was full of Sixties garage scuzz. Here, in a real studio with producer Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio), they shoot for Seventies glory, from the John Lennon tribute, "Imagine Pt. 3," to the T. Rex sashay of "Dye the World" and the disco-fied New Wave of "Dance Away." Everything is drenched in reverb and echo, as if frontman Cullen Omori is transmitting his pie-eyed romance ("Love and lust — how come that is such a must?") straight from the ballrooms of Mars.

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From The Archives Issue 1123: February 3, 2011