It's easy to love the Smith Westerns for its deft touch, with shimmering pop hooks and fuzzy, '60s-damaged guitar musings. It's easy to hate the Smith Westerns for its members' perma-slack posturing and enviable ascent up the blog-buzz crystal staircase. But on this year's Dye It Blonde
, the quartet's strip-mined take on Marc Bolan glam and Robyn Hitchcock psych is compressed into something tattered, ragged and right. Maybe these four guys are saviors of a genre that was never in need of saving, but they play the part with the right amount of conviction and skill to make you a believer once again.
In the News: The band narrowly escaped bodily harm when its stage at the Belgian festival Pukkelpop collapsed back in August, in a series of weather-related accidents that killed five and wounded dozens more.