The Smooths were a Baltimore, MD ska band that put out 2 CDs on the SideOneDummy label. They were pretty damn good too. I got to see them at the ’98 Vans Tour and again in ’99 playing with Ham, Mad Caddies and the Toasters on the Peoria River Front Stage. You know, the one Summer where they actually let normal shows happen there that weren’t part of the Peoria Area Civic Events festivities so that it didn’t sit there unused 48 weeks out of the year? Anyway, they put on a hell of a performance both times, pretty hard to top! After they broke up I know that the lead singer went on to a hardcore band that has also since broke up. I never knew too terribly much about them, heck, I didn’t even know this 7″ existed up until I found it in an Iowa City record shop when I was killing time before seeing an Edna’s Goldfish and Step Lively show at Gabe’s Oasis. I could hardly believe my eyes. I had seriously heard nothing about this, ever. I know that the internet was still not the number one depository for every bit of information back then, but I don’t think you can find any online information on this release even now! (OK I just checked, you can find 2, fine internet, you win, but just barely.) Thankfully some bands use logos and motifs so it was easy for me to know this was the same “the Smooths” that I knew and enjoyed. When you’re into smaller bands sometimes a lot of them can end up having the same name and it’s a race to the major label or major prominence to see who gets to keep it. Back in the day I knew 2 different Fall Out Boys, neither one of them the household name band we know today. But yeah, that font, those spades, I knew I’d hit the mark. What’s more curious is that “Kiss the Carnage” is such a good song it is hard to tell why it wasn’t on either of their albums. Apart from the band, this release in and of it self has things I like to see going on. A nice big “45” hole in the middle, and even more than that, side A is at 45 rpm while side B is at 33 1/3 rpm, that’s just neat, well to me at least!
Kiss the Carnage