The new album from Smokescreens is so good and so perfectly realized that one only hopes that it reaches as many ears as possible. Blending elements of jangle-rock and power-pop with a real debt owed to pioneers of the C86 era, as well as legends from the Flying Nun label, Used To Yesterday positively chimes. Out on Friday on the seminal Slumberland Records label, it is another in a long line of fabulous releases from Mike and his crew, as well as further indication that with this, and recent offerings from Bent Shapes and Young Guv, the Slumberland team's knack for finding this sort of music is still as strong as ever.
If "Someone New" opens the record with a real bit of intent, all Flatmates fuzz amped around a big hook, then the title cut here signals a debt owed to Shoes or The Records, power-pop genius for sure. Similarly, the sublime "Waiting For Summer" blends a Byrd-riff with the kind of tune The Clean once routinely cranked out. Focused, ringing with promise, and catchy, this is sure to be an anthem of this season for lots of indie-heads like me. Elsewhere, the propulsive "The Lost Song" carries a faint whiff of early Go-Betweens about it, even if the guitars are decidedly louder, while "Jolly Jane" chimes in the tradition of loads of bands on Slumberland Records, think early releases from Veronica Falls or The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. And, to their credit, Smokescreens lose none of their appeal on slower-tempo songs like "Buddy" and "It's Not Right" where things take a turn towards the sort of soundscapes found on early Yo La Tengo and Galaxie 500 sides.
Superbly performed and effortlessly tuneful, Used To Yesterday is pure listening pleasure. Make sure you buy it when it drops on Slumberland Records this Friday.
More details on Smokescreens via the band's official Facebook page.
[Photo: Uncredited promotional image]