March 03, 2019

Smile Empty Soul - 3's (2012)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Alternative Rock
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© 2012 Eone
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger
Melodic but hard-hitting Santa Clara, California-based post-grunge outfit Smile Empty Soul's fifth studio album finds the trio maturing into a solid, if fairly predictable, amalgamation of Nirvana, Staind, and Breaking Benjamin. What sets 3's apart from previous outings is its confidence. Standout cuts like "Ugly" and "Carve" have definite hooks, and Smile Empty Soul aren't afraid to sink the barbs in and leave them there, but they're also not opposed to expanding their sonic palette, as is the case with the brooding and relentlessly heavy "Let Go" and the similarly paced single "Afterlife," the latter of which employs a pretty spectacular symphonic tsunami of guitars. That said, the band's strict adherence to the genre's tireless obsession with non-specific angst, whether it's manufactured or not, keeps 3's squarely in the middle of the hard rock/emo/punk-pop/post-grunge pack. They might have grown as musicians, but they're still too mad about something/everything to let go of the clichés.

tags: smile empty soul, 3s, 3's, 2012, flac,

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