Suzuki Smith “Wife Beater”

Album Reviews | Nov 30th, 2007

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Record Label: Self Released
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Raw punk rock from Boston. That pretty much sums up Suzuki Smith. You won’t find a radio friendly pop punk song on Wife Beater. From the photocopied black and white cover to the typical two minute punk rock song, Suzuki Smith serve up 18 songs of in your face street punk filled with driving guitars and moshpit worthy anthems.

Surprisingly, I like this album. I’ve been fed up lately with the same old punk song for 13 tracks in a row over and over again. Suzuki Smith brings me back to the days where punk was socially conscious but could still rock your face. Their sound may be described as early hardcore punk, you know before hardcore became screaming into the microphone and doing karate kicks and angry poses, there are still catchy songs and some good guitar licks. I’m reminded of Murphy’s Law or the Dropkick Murphy’s without the Irish sound.

Songs like the title track “Wife Beater” and “Skinhead In Cell Block D” bring attention to the abuse and hatred that is overlooked in our society too many times. “You’re a wife beater even though her love couldn’t be sweeter. You leave a bruise, you leave a scar. Who the fuck do you think you are?” That line sums it up. Most of the songs have a social awareness about them while some of the others deal with subjects of punk hierarchy (Punker Than You) and the fun of relationships (Never Have Me) and there are even a few cover songs at the end of the album…”Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley and “Anarchy In The UK” by the Sex Pistols. Quite and interesting pairing of cover songs.

Even though the album sounds like it was recorded in someone’s basement, which it probably was, it has that distinctive early era punk sound in the production value and in the musical similarities to the sound in general. Towards the end of the album, the songs begin to run together and you’ll find yourself skipping to some of the earlier tracks since they hold up better and are catchier. The two cover songs are a good way to send off a decent punk album. Overall, Wife Beater was memorable listen.

Bottom Line:
Notable Tracks: Kamikaze Irishmen, Never Have Me, Wife Beater, Punker Than You, Suspicious Minds
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