Launched on to the Brisbane scene this summer, the alternative indie label Ruined Smile scoured the globe for their inaugural ‘sampler’ release. Our most literary bright hope, Ayfer Simms, reviews this congruous panoramic collection.
Various ‘Ruined Smile Sampler #1’ (Ruined Smile)
The indie alternative mythical beast, scattered around the globe, has gathered its body for a celebration under the Brisbane based label Ruined Smiles. Armed with a confident, versatile, slightly fierce and defiant armored trunk, the wild thing offers an array of spirited and vivacious tracks, proving that the voice of the Indie/Punk/Pop/Emo has lost nothing of its former YAWP: The general mood is explosive (No Ditching, Manku Kapak), dejected at times (Snow What, Plaids, Deadverse) prone to riots against the spectacle of the inner self and the day to day worldliness, sensually dexterous in making you feel burgeoning and brave (No Action, Plough Lines).
Throwing us from the beginning into the familiar territory of the gentle insurgence, ‘Tug of War’ (by Sleep Kit), with its slow reverb guitars and calm vocals lures us in the den of the indie animal as if the strenuous battle was behind us, yet in no time the emotion changes to bouncy punk tracks, racing against boredom and earthly routines: with tunes like ‘Nowhere Girl’ (Doe) we are thrown into questioning our simple right to be free by doing nothing, the portrait of a girl who uses her right to remain motionless, other tracks like ‘Sorrow’ (The Daydream Fit) bursts out with a seductive rage seeking the “only truth I know” and conquering.
Poetic and personal images with ‘Spontaneous Human Combustion Should Happen More Often’ (Trouble Sleep), a plea to remain sane with ‘Nothing’s sake’ (Revenge Surgery), “I dont want to be free, dont understand what it means, just want to be less fucked up”, an upbeat twisted rock track with ‘Machismo’s Last Stand’ (The Machismos) a yearning for an anticipated blank future with the balmy vocals of ‘Football etc’ (Audible), a ravenous guitar craving with the Manuals, these same guitars trying to swallow Wade’s vocalist who willingly abandons himself in a melodic plaintive serenade with a combative pursuit…
The 16 tracks unfold as if there were all part of a creature’s metal skeleton, rattling, clinking and moving freely intermittently floating and poking the ground with a firm fist.
This compilation is like the chanting of a young army of “enfant terrible”, a group of desperadoes marching with an “élan vital” that detonates along with strong tumultuous guitars and vocals competing, fighting, and mingling with each other all under the big wild indie stray animal.