This is a bit of a change of pace for SONWD. Smooth Sailing is a Seattle band that blends a few distinct elements but ties it all together with crushing heaviness. The band self-identifies simply as “heavy” and blends mostly punk and post-hardcore influences with some classic rock fueled guitar tinkering. Their newest album xoxo features a scathing hardcore vocals, rolling toms and double bass, and heavily distorted pounding that would sound like uber-heavy stoner doom if not for the frequent use of tapping leads. These Seattle natives put on quite the show live and, judging from personal experience, provide for an especially great time in a bar/club setting.
Throughout this nine track opus, distinct influences of Converge and Botch are heard. Songs like “Galloping Gertie” are both aggressive and layered with distant leads. The aptly titled “Rectum? Damn Neak Killem ‘Em” borders on on stoner doom for about the first minute and explodes into an upbeat blitzkrieg full of tempo changes. The video for the song consists of footage from the Occupy Seattle protests this last weekend. The band delivers bludgeoning distorted sound and plenty of opportunity for headbanging, lest your weary braincells have gotten soft lately. Though the band shies away from the metal label and draws most of its elements from punk and post-hardcore, tracks like “Ironing Out The Kinky Boys” are pretty damn metal in my book. All in all, there’s a little bit for everyone here and the music comes across especially well live.
There will be a regional Northwest tour this winter and a national tour in Spring of 2012. They’ll be playing the ReBar in Seattle on November 3rd. I highly suggest you check these guys out if you are in the area.