Whisky Smile is a mischievous lot, a band who likes to toy with your expectations and ears whilst treating them to some of the best heavyweight riffs and cantankerous rhythms you would wish to be accosted by. Their debut EP The Eagle Has Landed is a thumping confrontation which reaps the best essences of heavy rock and metal and sculpts them into a riotous brawl of contagious enterprise and that wicked fun. It is certainly not a release stretching existing boundaries but for thrills, spills, and downright devilment you could not wish for a better companion.
Hailing from Penrith, Western Sydney, Whisky Smile is a quintet on the march, a band with bar room fumes rising above their heads and passionate rock ‘n roll oozing from every inventive pore. Their sound is uncompromising, hard, and the instigator of sonic brawls which leave you invigorated and ready to take on all-comers, though equally at times it just ignites the biggest grin in the best possible way to have you wholly defenceless to their Aussie charm.
Self-released, The Eagle Has Landed was recorded at BearClaw Productions with the duo Chris Blancato and Jono Peters. Consisting of five tracks which snarl at and ravage the passions with irresistible rhythmic incitement, air stretching grooves, and scarring riffs, it is the kind of release which only makes you hungrier minute by minute and never allows a lull in the intensity and pleasure to play for one second, though the very first breath of the release did certainly the first time leave doubts. As mentioned Whisky Smile is a band which seemingly likes to tease and the opening of Cheap And Easy certainly does that even if maybe it was not the band’s intent, only they know. The start of the first song is a progressively inspired piece of music which suggests we are entering into another post-hardcore effort, and though that is not a bad thing the intro is rather uninspiring. We soon learn to know better and make no assumptions with this band as mountainous rhythms enter to herald the start of a brewing intensity and epic laced melodic exploits. This is still not the truth of it though and it is not until the band groups all its riffs into a chug fest ridden by the wonderful grizzly vocal exploits of Mick Palmer that clarity is achieved and emotions lifted to new heights. His lyrical description of the song’s central character never fails to raise a chuckle and hold attention as equally riveting grooves wind around the senses from guitarist Glen Soper, their sonic spines gripping deep whilst the riffs of rhythm guitarist Nathan ‘Skitz’ Gittoes carnivorously devour any remaining doubts. The track is an impressive introduction to the band, but one soon matched by the following provocations.
Ernie Dingo’s Got My Baby instantly slaps its sinews on the ear as sonic flames and dark bass tones from Kurt Wilson give no time for a breath of air to be swallowed. Assumingly inspired by Ernie Dingo, an Indigenous Australian actor who was accused of having affairs in a few controversies, the track rumbles along with a hard rock urgency and uncomplicated but potently efficient riffs whilst the rhythms of drummer Gareth Jones are an intensive instigator of greedy relish as they steer the song through the ear. As blues lit guitar fire graces the surface of the song towards its anthemic climax, the track raises another notch to secure its place to the fore of the EP alongside its predecessor, but it is a busy place as right after A Shallow Grave stakes out its pitch too. There is only one thing you can say about the song as a description, Motorhead like. It is a dirty insatiable slab of rock ‘n’ roll, vocals taking on a grittier Lemmy like grazing and riffs burning the flesh of ear and body. With grooves that dance with a virulently tempting swagger through it all and an attitude that will not take no as a reply to its rugged enticement, the song is a towering treat, one rife with sonic seduction and wonderfully bad aural behaviour.
Green Eagle also stares down on the listener from the loftiest heights, sending shards of acidic sonics and rabid rhythmic bombs cascading down on to the senses whilst the terse riffs soften up the ear for easy access. It is another piece of aggressive stimulation leaving only the call for more in the passions.
It has to be said that the closing song took us by surprise but emerges as maybe the biggest treat of the release and that is no detriment to the rest of the glorious assaults. The track is a version of the B-52s classic Rock Lobster and it is up there with one of the best covers ever. The band make it their own by using all the irrepressible essences of the original and twisting them within a stunning explosion of incendiary rock and metal passion. Whisky Smile retain all the rascality from its creators too but have taken it into devil mode whilst simultaneously creating an intense and seriously crafted triumph. It is a brilliant piece of thought and interpretation complete with a loudly announced breakdown which is any head bangers dream.
The Eagle Has Landed is just exhilarating and the start of something major for Whisky Smile hopefully. Ok the EP musically makes no real demands on breaking the back of originality but when it sounds as exciting and galvanic, let alone superbly crafted, as this there are no complaints here.
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