A new Old Smile release is indeed a cause for celebration.
Hailing from New Jersey, Old Smile (AKA Tom Herman Jr), forges dreamy, homemade psychedelic rock. On Glued, Herman paints with an expanded palette of sounds, textures and styles, all while retaining his expert sense of song craft.
Hints of jazz creep in throughout the album, especially on “Luminous Hill” and “Blank Page,” while fuzzy acid rock meshes seamlessly with Herman’s astral take on sunshine pop. This is perhaps most evident on the early Soft Machine-meets-The Seeds clash that is “Where Will You Turn.” Another great example is “Fertile Ground,” which combines ghostly double-tracked vocals with Josef Zawinul-like keyboard loops and scorching guitar lines that whip from one speaker to the other, like a viper ready to strike.
Across its twelve tracks, the record consistently keeps a shadowy, phantasmagoric tone. From the pulsing post-rock dirge of “Draining Sensation,” to songs like “Dancing with Grief,” which collide garage scuzz with complicated funk rhythms and hallucinatory effects, a single spectral groove flows through them all.
What makes Old Smile’s wide versatility and intense focus on mood and flavor all the more impressive, is that the album is entirely performed and recorded by Herman himself. If this doesn’t impress you, then I don’t know what will.
You can get yourself a download of this album from Old Smile’s Bandcamp page, right here.