The Smoking Hearts: Victory!

Punk rock party anthems – with a little help from their friends

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Snapping at the heels of their well-received debut, Pride Of Nowhere, this new punk rock party album adds a welcome shot of adrenaline to 2013. Thanks to a sprinkling of AC/DC sleaze, a chug of Ramones and a twist of effortless class, they’re the dirty Martini of punk rock.

Choruses come naturally but they’re far from one-dimensional and new favourites appear with each listen. This is rich, raucous and, with guest vocals from over 40 of their mates, it’s awash with a sense of fun. The closing fretwork of The Natural Disasters proves hugely addictive, but it’s the swirling frenzy of riffs and throaty growls on Blue Nun that are uniquely memorable.

True, Sinking Ships seems obvious by comparison and the claps on Crimes Of Passion appear awkward, but with Dan Weller and Justin Hill (ex-SiKth) nailing production duties and excitable, runaway solos appearing at every turn, the occasional trip off the rails actually makes this band more likeable.