Album Review: Suckers – Wild Smile

Suckers – Wild Smile
Frenchkiss: 2010
Purchase on Amazon

Much like Avi Buffalo earlier in 2010, this indie pop quartet out of Brooklyn’s biggest borough certainly picked an opportune moment in the year to release debut album Wild Smile. Summer is certainly Suckers’ strong suit. While not quite ready for the big stage, the band certainly has an outdoor arena record ready for the occasion. Substantially feel-good, bayside beach, out-back barbecue material. Sing-a-long choruses, whistle-friendly tunes, just in time for the solstice.

Hats are off to both Austin Fisher and Quinn Walker, providing such diversity with their pipes. The heated Wild Smile stays winter fresh with vocals that vary from track to track. Not once does it feel like you’re getting the same old from Suckers. The falsetto on “Before Your Birthday Ends” is so delicate; a perfect complement to the change found in the chorus. The chants on “Black Sheep”, particularly in the chorus, sound eerily familiar to the voice of Isaac Brock from Modest Mouse. For a little flamboyancy, the vocal arrangement on “Roman Candles” sounds partially Fred Schneider a la b52’s mashed with Interpol’s Paul Banks. As important as it is for Suckers to have two capable vocalists, the versatility in both Austin and Quinn is where the lasting appeal of Wild Smile is found.

Standout tracks include “Martha”, which builds its foundation off of what sounds like half Animal Collective “Banshee Beat” from Feels combined with a horn out of Zach Condon’s Beirut. It’s a track that builds up at such a comfortable pace, making a seamless transition from intimate to bold. “A Mind I Knew” has the same undemanding upsurge, as keys and tambourine slowly but surely turn into a hectic tribal typhoon. Another excellent example of patience is opener “Save Your Love For Me”. Clocking in at just under six minutes, the amorous song covers a lot of ground. The track floats along until just after the midway point, where things get quite desperate for the beggar. Floating to end out the track, and you’ve got yourself a complete experience to start things off. Suckers’ composure pays off tremendously on this record.

Everything clicks well on Wild Smile. Weakness is hard to come across, though there’s not a track that can really equate to anything that can be found on the self-titled EP from last year. Still, kudos to the ambitious effort from this young Brooklyn-based group that seems to have itself quite an impressive start to build off of. Get the s’mores out, and get the fire going. You could very well be a sucker for this band.

3.5 out of 5
[audio:|titles=Suckers – “Black Sheep”]

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  1. Not exactly sure how to go about describing Sucker’s music, but I know it sounds really damn good. Check out the video from South By Southwest

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