I don’t even know where to start here. Let’s see… the Smoking Popes have a brilliant new album called Stay Down. It is an album I never thought would be made. I saw the band’s “last” show at Metro back in 1998 so, for fans like me, a new album of new material now in 2008 is all gravy. Actually it is better than gravy; it’s like having your (birthday) cake and being able to eat it too.
So yes, the Smoking Popes are back and not a ton has changed. Josh is still crooning but not as lovelorn as during the band’s first tour of duty and the band’s buzzsaw dual guitar attack is as potent as ever. The Smoking Popes are (and always were) a slightly punky power-pop band with huge melodies packed into simple (and simply amazing) songs. Stay Down is all that and more.
With songs like “Welcome To Janesville,” “If You Don’t Care,” and “Sweet Pea” leading the charge, it is obvious that the Smoking Popes haven’t slowed down even if they have (like all of us from back then) matured a bit. Stay Down is the soundtrack to my summer and sounds great cranked on my car stereo. I picked up the album at the band’s record release show a few weeks ago but it should be available physically and digitally (on iTunes) by now.
Really, what more can I say? I own every Smoking Popes record including their two (yes, two) live at Metro albums and I’ve been listening to the band for 15 years now (man that makes me sound old). They are one of my favorite bands ever and Stay Down is a fantastic addition to my Smoking Popes collection.
MP3 | Smoking Popes – If You Don’t Care Stay Down