a chance to relax cvrA Chance To Relax…with The Smart Folk – The Smart Folk (self released)

With a changing of the political guard in Australia, we’ve been assailed with talk about a new, genteel and respectful way of doing business in the Federal Parliament - as if none of the fuckers are going to revert to type and we won’t end up with the same shit-fight on our hands. It’s just as well that 90 percent of the population doesn’t give a rat’s arse.

Rock and roll may be similarly set in its ways, but there are band chosing different pathways to tread. Sixties-derived pop with a jangling edge is where Sydney’s The Smart Folk chose to reside and they're making their mark in their own way.

“A Chance To Relax…with The Smart Folk” is the latest EP from this band of ex-mod scene regulars and if it doesn’t wrap you in a stranglehold and impress with its urgency and energy, that’s fine. It’s mid-paced, obviously freakbeat-influenced guitar pop that has a warm charm – maybe more so than the records that have come before.

“Nostalgic Airwaves” is unashamedly retro in its Ray Davies-fied pop stylings and a fine opener. “All The Time In The World” scales a snaking melody line and breaks into a trot midway through in spite of that title. Engine room Pete Iacono (since departed from the band) and bassist Keith Claringbold coax the song along with a fluid feel. It’s the hit pick - although the energetically groovy “Seven Deadly Sins” isn’t far behind. “At The Blue Café” is the requisite tender ballad (with customary self-reference) and works OK, without being as memorable as the others.

Co-producer Marc Scully has summoned a glowing sound from the band in his Studio 57 which is becoming quite the place to track songs in southern Sydney. Of course you can try the EP before you buy it on Bandcamp – unlike voting someone into office.