Review: “What A Wonderful World” EP by Smile

I see skies of blue and clouds of white, The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night, And I think to myself what a wonderful World” sang Jazz Legend Louis Armstrong back in 1967 and the title of the song has been chosen by Swiss Hardcore act Smile for an EP that took them a year to create before being mixed and mastered by Erik Bickerstaffe of Loathe.

Bathed in feedback and a slow menacing hardcore riff, “Disobedient” comes out of the gate shrouded in darkness and armed with a baseball bat. A spoken word in their native tongue builds tension with its calmness before bursting into English with some savage unclean vocals and punishing Downtempo Beatdown riffs that touch the void to Deathcore but don’t quite reach that level of aggression. “Impunity” steps up the energy with Metallic edged riffs and tempo shifts like juggernaut moving through the gears. When you’re not in the pit, you’ll be screaming along and another spoken word segment gives an opportunity for the crowd to chant those words live. Lyrically focusing on domestic abuse and rape and how the law deals with them, Smile aren’t a party hardcore act, instead choosing to raise awareness through their punchy sound. The bounce heavy “Agoge” with a driven bassline and skull crushing rhythms that make it a stand out cut. Broken Heart of a Coward esq DJent riffs add a layer of sparsely used complexity that lift the track from the earlier Beatdown roots and makes for the kind of nuance that brings you back. Leaping in with a couple of choice blast beat passages light up the breakdown heavy “Ruined From Above“, which violently lurches as it spits vocal ferocity. Somehow managing to shoehorn in a by this point trademark Smile Downtempo drop is the icing on the cake. Closer “Guilt” has a frenetic quality to its raw vocals while the band keep things tight with punishing grooves that will bring the two steppers out for what is a solid concrete slab of an EP from a band at the start of their career [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Disobedient
  2. Impunity
  3. Agoge
  4. Ruined From Above
  5. Guilt

What A Wonderful World” EP by Smile is out now and available over at bandcamp

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