While the Chicago trio Smith Westerns may be on their way to bringing glam rock back, these young musicians definitely don't dress the part when they perform on tour dates.
Of course playing a style of music that dropped out of the mainstream wouldn't be enough; Smith Westerns combines classic elements of glam rock with modern pop and garage rock styles. If record sales of the band's latest album, Dye It Blonde, are any indication, Smith Westerns stylistic experiment is turning out to be a huge success. Also a good indicator is the amount of international tour dates in 2011 that the band has undertaken, including more concert dates lasting into the summer.
Smith Westerns was formed in 2007 while Max Kakacek and Cullen Omori were attending Northside College Preparatory School in Chicago. After listening to 60's garage rock, the duo decided that they could play the music with little effort and decided to form a band. They recruited Cullen's brother, Cameron, to play bass and all three members took turns playing the drums. Smith Westerns began playing house parties and smaller concert dates before moving on up to some of the most popular clubs in Chicago. Their unique sound caught the attention of local label HoZac Records which released a three-song 7", which was quickly selling out its limited printings. The success of the 7" prompted HoZac to release a self-titled, full length, vinyl-only album in 2009. While the album was mostly recorded in Kakacek's basement, the music spread word about Smith Westerns. They opened a number of tour dates for HoZac label-mate Nobunny as well as released a split with the Magic Kids on Fat Possum records. Despite college careers, the band's members were able to release their second album, Dye It Blonde, in early 2011 and continued to play tour dates. The album reached #1 on Billboard's Heatseekers charts and featured the percussion talents of Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
a modern and innovative media company providing a new form of online culture through thought-provoking humor, a wicked sense of style and stunning visual concepts. Our bi-weekly features and daily curated content — originating from some of today’s brightest and forward looking experts — are full of stories on topics ranging from fashion and music, and politics and sports, to art and travel. All meant to be experienced and not just read.