A wealth of musical experience, a writhing powerhouse of talented individuals, a collective passion for metal and heavy rock, all culminate into this brutally brilliant debut release that is certain to bring a wicked smile to your dial.
Wait for the Night has been a long time in the making and one can only imagine the volume of songs that were left in the wake of this debut album that did not make it to the final cut, because it is immediately evident that Wicked Smile has been thoroughly ruthless in getting this collection just right.
With the opener sporting a mighty metal title like Date with the Devil, my malevolent mosh monster within expects big things from the first track.This band realises that we purists are sure to play the collection in sequence and there is only one chance for first impressions, but then the album cover makes clear that there is an OG aspect to this mighty debut album.The whole package harks back to the days of exploring a record in the sequenced order presented, just as the band intended whilst the listener stares at the cover, enjoying every aspect of the experience.As the muffled bass intro rises from the depths and surfaces through to our mortal dimension, a devil indeed rises to the fore. The accompanied by a blistering guitar salute, a malign and maniacal dance ensues, doubtless marking that our date with the demon has begun.With Stevie, Glen, Dave, and Jason in full flight within seconds, the vocal might of Danny Cecati puts vocal perfection to this track and a thoroughly sensational journey begins in earnest.Slashed and ripped by the skilfully delivery of riffage from Stevie and neck sore already from the mosh, my inner metal monster is exhilarated with pain-ridden glee, begging for the band to deliver more.
The now well-known and widely enjoyed Wait For The Night flows forth from the speakers to perfection as the delights of a well-celebrated hard rock heritage ooze from this album, but again the sequencing is a joy to experience as the list of suspected influences swirl through your mind.But there is a welcome realisation that despite there being a familiarity with sound, note, style, and delivery, Wicked Smile has achieved a rock elegance in their music that is all their own. But entwined within that sound is a regular homage to styles that have helped craft the band's own brand.I challenge you to enjoy the beginning of We Fall and not be ripped straight back to 1982 in hearing Goanna usher in Solid Rock with the didgeridoo.But just as Shane Howard explains that out here nothing changes, not in a hurry anyway, the I am reminded of the lads from Like A Storm who have melded metal and didgeridoo in more recent years, and whilst pondering this thought the opening seconds, Wicked Smile have snuck in a soaring, stadium shaking behemoth of a rock anthem into the line-up.Chills accompany the chorus as you realise that one day we will be screaming this song back at them in the likes of Rod Laver Arena, thinking I knew this song when the debut album was first released. Wow.
While you are still in the throes of the former, the pace eases with Sign Of Times but the sheer magnificence of the music journey does not let up one solitary ounce. This ballad of somber reflection is especially fitting after the last two years here on earth, but before long this emotive masterwork takes you in its rock embrace and serenades you into a state of momentary and blissful amnesia. Then, snap…just like that…we are back. This brilliant song is a timely reminder of how musicians the world over, help sooth our journey and mark the moments with their creations. With Wicked Smile as no exception, a song like this can whisk you away and guide you to momentary distraction or provide the timely reminded that we are all in this together. Music is indeed the great unifier.
Just like every track before, Daze Of Delirium is perfectly sequenced to provide the bridge back to riff ridden excitement. The rhythmic powerhouse behind this mammoth sound in Glen Cave and Jason Tyro is utterly relentless and keeps the sound alive, pumping and pulsating the energy through each track. Ostensibly, Killer At Large levels the sound and creates some mid album consistency, but this track is lulling you into a sense of stability before Last Goodbye takes you by surprise. Spoiler alert, and with all due respect, this isn’t Jeff Buckley. As the rhythm and lead attest while pounded to pace by Jason at the kit in intro, this song is straight out of the emotive high energy playbook, and before long Danny has your heart soaring in sensational style. I tried my best at 1 minute 20 but going to have to squeeze a lot harder to get anywhere near those lofty vocal heights. Musically and spiritually. So red faced and hoarse of throat, I feel calmed as a serenading siren beckons me forth into Loves Got A Hold On You. I have no idea if the band intended me to picture the likes of a beautiful mermaid as bait to loves malicious intent, luring me forward but the lyrics and power of this tracks soon confirm that we are indeed on the same track. Well…sort of, but regardless, it’s all bound to end in tears. What a track.
Don’t Wait For Me. I have no words and neither I should. This I leave to the listener to experience for themselves. With one caveat. I beg of you to listen to the song in album sequence and enjoy the experience.
Stronger. Could the finale title be more apt? Could the collection be completed any better? Again, I leave this to you the listener, but it is rare indeed that vocally, lyrically, and musically and song compels you to start the entire album all over again.
The Wicked Smile protagonists have all the experience necessary to know that a debut has encapsulated the spirit of the band and their belief while knocking the socks right off the first-time listener, but they have taken this a little further with Wait For The Night by taking the listener by the throat, shaking them from their shoes and demanding the attention this mighty first album so richly deserves. Bravura Wicked Smile. A thoroughly brilliant work that deserves a place of prominence in every music collection.