Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Review: The Webstirs “The Webstirs Re-Present Smirk”

Rock/Power pop
We last covered The Webstirs with their release of “So Long” in 2009 (review here). Strongly influenced by the pop craftsmanship of Brian Wilson, “So Long” was one of the best offerings that year for power pop rockers. But the Webstirs actually debuted on the music scene back in 1994. Their latest offering, “The Webstirs Re-Present Smirk”, is a re-release of that debut, which provides fans with a real treat to experience the band’s humble beginnings.

True to form, “The Webstirs Re-Present Smirk” is a friendly nod to Brian Wilson’s long lost album “SMiLE”, which finally saw the light of day in 2004 as “Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE”. However, it should be noted that “The Webstirs Re-Present Smirk” is not strictly a re-release…it has been completely reworked. The band remixed, remastered, added unreleased goodies, and shuffled the order and redid the artwork. In the words of keyboardist Mark Winkler, “It’s a total reboot of the original”.

It is always a joy to discover older material written by a band that you recently became a fan of…and “The Webstirs Re-Present Smirk” does not disappoint. The band was just as good during their start in 1994 as they are now. There are plenty of well structured tunes in the power pop tradition, bolstered with well placed accordion, jangling piano, and gentle horns. You’ll be hard pressed to find a bad tune in the batch, but the Webstirs really knock these out of the park on cuts like “You Can Hang Around”, “Old Enough”, and “It’s Over Now”. Recommended if you like Brian Wilson, Jellyfish, or Jellybricks.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10

The Webstirs Official site. Visit now and get a free download!