Margot Smith

Margot Smith

Taste

Phantom

She’s no newcomer, you know. And though Margot Smith at first glance falls into the confessional solo singer/songwriter trap, trust me, it’s not the case. Taste is not just anemic “love” songs, there is a darkness here. Smith should be familiar to those lucky enough to have bought Church records, since she contributed the odd vocal track or two. Returning the favor on Taste are several Church alumni. Taste is awash in eerie synth washes and ambient guitar, distancing the album from the acoustic guitar snooze I so dread. And do you want to know the best thing about this record? Most of the songs end around the three-minute mark! No song has the chance to get stale or overwrought. It’s a refreshingly punk-rock take on the Eighties melancholia that New Order, Psychedelic Furs, Opal, and (duh) the Church peddled. Wait, maybe Smith’s voice is the best part of Taste . Light on the bombast, thank you, heavy on the dynamics, I’m thinking of Caroline from This Mortal Coil or Cerys from Catatonia in terms of presence. There’s fourteen songs here, and if I didn’t really like one, I didn’t have to worry about it lasting too long. I’d like to recommend opening track “Hope,” because of its gently chiming guitars coupled with venomous deathwishes on an ex-something. The standout piece has to be “2nd Hand Soul,” which I can only describe as cabaret lullaby and can only fervently pray that either the Creatures or Bjork decide to cover this song. It always pleases me to see a record like this come out of nowhere.

Phantom Records, PO Box A566, Sydney South, Australia 1235

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Bully
    Bully

    Bully greets Orlando with apathy and anger toward one of its theme parks. Jen Cray smiles and thinks, “Man, this band would have fit in well in the nineties!”

  • Luther Dickinson
    Luther Dickinson

    Blues & Ballads: A Folksinger’s Songbook: Volumes I & II (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Conway
    Conway

    Big Talk EP (Self-Released). Review by Jen Cray.

  • Freakwater
    Freakwater

    Scheherazade (Bloodshot Records). Review by James Mann.

  • The Haymarket Squares
    The Haymarket Squares

    Light It Up. Review by Carl F Gauze.

  • Ani DiFranco
    Ani DiFranco

    Years pass, and so do our legends, but one constant remains: there are always artists living and breathing that are worth your time and attention. Ani DiFranco is a major one, according to Jen Cray and a whole legion of fans.

  • Javier Escovedo
    Javier Escovedo

    Kicked Out Of Eden (Saustex Media). Review by James Mann.

  • Eszter Balint
    Eszter Balint

    Airless Midnight (Red Herring). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Arthur Lee and Love
    Arthur Lee and Love

    Real to Reel (High Moon Records). Review by Al Pergande.

  • The Rentiers
    The Rentiers

    Here is a List of Things That Exist EP / Black Metal Yoga 7″ (Square of Opposition Records/Death to False Hope Records). Review by Jen Cray.

From the Archives