WHO NEEDS SMARTS, ANYWAY?
Smarts are a relatively new Australian band who began playing shows around Melbourne and surrounds towards the end of 2018. Combining frantic, yet taut and rapidly-paced rhythms amidst playful, almost child-like riffs and melodies that just about make you want to pull your hair out, Smarts are a sound of their own.
The band stemmed out of a bedroom demo that was recorded for fun a year earlier by Billy Gardner (bass, vocals) and Mitch Campleman (guitar) in Geelong. After letting it collect dust for 12 months, they assembled a band to perform the songs live featuring Jake Robertson on drums and Sally Buckley on synth; and released the four-song demo cassette, “Smart World”. Stella Rennex later joined the band, largely filling out the sound with her eccentric saxophone parts.
“Who Needs Smarts, Anyway?” was recorded by the band themselves over a weekend slumber in Geelong at the DIY studio setup; The Barracks, with finishing coats added in Melbourne before sending off to mix-master-Mikey Young in Rye. There’s a feeling throughout as if the whole thing could collapse into pieces at any moment, and just when you think it’s about to, Smarts weave their way out and into a new direction.
Points of reference could be compared to the quirkiness of LA’s Suburban Lawns or Geza X, as well as citing influence from modern sounds like Japanese band Vodovo and the ever-evolving Midwest American punk scene. It could even be viewed as a refreshing and original extension of the so-called “egg punk” genre.