The Smith Street Band are one of my favourite bands in the world. I just love their brutally honest, yet incredibly uplifting songs. Wil Wagner is one of my favourite lyricists of all time. I thought it might be fun to put together a top ten of my favourite Smith Street Band songs.
10. Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face
Released as a single last year, Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin is a song about supporting refugees and attacking the Australian Prime Minister. It starts slowly, builds and then explodes into life. With what's just happened in UK politics the lyrics "It Is Not Enough, To Be Quiet On The Train Back Home, Change Is Gonna Come, Our Countries Mind Can't Stay This Closed" feel incredibly fitting.
9. Postcodes (For People Who Will Not Arrest Me)
From the debut album Nobody Gets Lost Anymore, Postcodes begins in a punchy sing-along fashion before switching into a melodic and catchy chorus of "I Don't Wanna Work No More, I Don't Wanna Work No More, I'm Gonna Make You So Proud Of Me." This chorus is especially great in a live setting.
Technically this is a Wil Wagner solo song rather than a Smith Street Band song but I just couldn't leave it off of this list. The title track from Wil's solo EP is a hauntingly beautiful song about a dog named Laika who was the first dog in space. Wil is completely heartbreaking as he tells the tale from the point of view of Laika.
7. Sunshine And Technology
Sunshine And Technology is the title track of The Smith Street Band's second album. This is one of the band's rowdier songs. Starting out immediately with its big chorus the song goes into a couple of fast paced verses about going out and living your life rather than staying inside and sitting behind a screen.
6. Sigourney Weaver
I believe I am right in saying that Sigourney Weaver is one of the first songs that Wil Wagner ever wrote. Taken from No One Gets Lost Anymore, it has become a classic Smith Street Band song. The lyrics "And You Look So Beautiful With Your Back To Me, You Turn Around And Give Me A One Look Vasectomy, I Whisper In Your Ear Don't You Ever Disappear, And You Whisper Back Don't You Ever Fucking Touch Me!" always get such a big response live.
Throw Me In The River's Surrender is one of the more traditionally structured Smith Street tracks. Going from verse to chorus to verse to chorus like you would expect from any good pop song. Surrender is as catchy as the best pop songs as well. The chorus is instantly sing-able, you'll be shouting it out at the top of your lungs after the first listen!
4. Young Drunk
Young Drunk is the song that brought The Smith Street Band to my attention and I imagine many many others. From the Sunshine And Technology album it starts out acoustically as Wil's vocal is at its emotional best before the full band kick in and we are treated to another big sing-along. The song is about returning to the place where you grew up and realising what you've got isn't so bad.
3. I Love Life
I Love Life is the final track on Throw Me In The River and is an absolute masterpiece. It's about coming up from a dark place in your life and finding happiness. It starts fast, Wil's vocals are more punchy and in your face than ever before throughout the first period of the song. Then comes a fantastic extended musical interlude that slowly builds towards the songs finale. It's like an amazing rollercoaster ride. The lyrics "And I Love Life So Fucking Much Right Now I Have To Pinch Myself, I Can't Quite Believe How Far I've Been Dragged Up For The Depths Of Hell" in particular really mean something to me.
2. When I Was A Boy (I Thought I Was A Fish)
This is a song that I didn't quite appreciate it's brilliance until I heard it live. When I Was A Boy is up-tempo and extremely uplifting. It's a song in which Wil gives thanks to all of his past experiences which have got him to this point in his life. Of course there are more lyrics that really hit home with me personally. Wil has a great skill in writing such relatable songs. "I'd Like To Thank The Things That I've Seen, The Friends That I've Made, All The People That Have Hurt Me, The Times That I've Been Saved And To Music, Which Has Made Me It's Most Obliging Slave" is something I'd like to say but am nowhere near a good enough wordsmith so say as well as that.
1. Don't Fuck With Our Dreams
What can I say about Don't Fuck With Our Dreams that I haven't said before? Probably not a lot so I'll just repeat myself about just how awesome this song. Something the Smith Street Band do better than any other band on the planet is take you on a magical ride of ups and down on their songs. This track is no different. It's got highs and lows, builds, a massive chorus and will have you shouting as loud as you possibly can to every single word. It's about continuing to fight for what you believe in despite any bump in the road that might come your way. The especially loved the breakdown of the song where Wil appears to be at his lowest before finding the inspiration to stand up and fight for what you love. Inspirational.
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