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Smile Empty Soul
By: Ash Starkweather
Smile Empty Soul is a three piece hard rock band from Los Angeles, CA. They have released six full length albums sense their premiere in 2003. Their latest release is an EP titled, “Shapeshifter” which features three new tracks as well as three of their biggest hits from their self-titled release in 2003.
This EP starts off with their latest single “All in My Head”, which was released via Revolver Magazine last month. It starts off with more of an alternative rock sound, but still has a heavy hitting chorus and deep lyrics: “Learn to change your shape, and then you tell me again that it’s all in my head.” The next track, “Running out of something” steps it up within the first chord. You can feel the angst in this track before the first line is even sung. It mellows out some in the verse but brings you right back in during the chorus. This is prime Smile Empty Soul both in the sound and lyrics, something any classic Smile Empty Soul fan will love. The final new piece of work in this EP, “Just One Place” is no different. It will have you bobbing your head along with the drumbeat until the guitars really hit in the chorus. From there this track is all feels, “and It’s a struggle to find my way.”
You know it from the first chord- “Silhouettes”, it is the song that got you through so much over a decade ago, and kicks off the re-recordings on this album. It feels like they added an extra line in the intro, or maybe we were just a little too excited to sing the first line that we jumped the gun a bit. From there it is a familiar territory. It does however, seem like Danielsen is holding back some in this song.. especially in the final chorus after the drop. His vocals are almost swallowed in the heavy instrumental at the end. “Nowhere Kids” still gives you chills, but again it feels like Danielsen is holding back on us, but he did hit it perfectly on the last verse for us:
“and what did you expect… a perfect child
raised by TV sets… abandoned every mile.
we never get respect… never a fair trial
no one gives a shit… as long as we smile.”
The final track is “Bottom of a Bottle” which was their biggest hit back in 2003, and even hit gold status. The track feels just as it did back in 03. Luckily, Danielsen opens up for us in this one in both the verse and Chorus, and you can feel the angst. Just like the original.
Shapeshifter is a great EP from Smile Empty Soul, both the new tracks and re-makes run smoothly together and this is an album that you can listen straight through and not skip a track. It hits every feeling and emotion you could want from an EP. Make sure to pick this one up when it drops on 4/1/16 and see the band on tour this spring.
POP DEFLATORS RECOMMENDS: “Nowhere Kids”