Their bodies may be in Berlin in 2015, but Smile And Burn’s hearts and minds sit closer to Long Island a decade ago, when the emo scene was getting big but hadn’t yet become clogged with eyeliner and bullshit.
Even the words are evocative of a particular time and place; the album title echoes The Get Up Kids’ Action & Action, while Roman Is Having An Okay Day and Apologies & Alibies scream of Brand New and Taking Back Sunday.
All of which is poison to the steadfastly metal among us, but good news for those heading into the summer with an openness to a collection of breezy, edgy melodies made for road trips. Hoarse, passionate vocals roughen up the edges, displaying not only their own punk roots but those of the entire scene, while a lyrical smartness becomes all the more impressive considering they’re laying their souls bare in a second language.
If they ever find themselves on the Warped Tour, Smile And Burn are sure to find an audience to adore them./o:p