Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams is raw and a little jagged, but it is also soaring and necessary.

Melbourne punks The Smith Street Band have said they’d been galvanised and strengthened as a group by their recent touring, and the band do sound more focused on their new EP, Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams. They bunkered down with producer Matt Voigt (Paul Kelly, The Dirty Three) to record this ‘snapshot’ release that will tide fans over while the band work on the full-length follow-up to last year’s Sunshine & Technology.

 

Wil Wagner’s visceral, anguished vocals explode through speakers like a punch to the gut. The rough-around-the-edges aural aesthetic still remains, but is leaner this time around. These are emotions laid bare, battered and bleeding, but the lyrics are deceptively simple and matter-of-fact.

 

The title track was inspired by an altercation a tour mate had with an aggressive concertgoer. ‘Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams’ became a mantra of sorts for the band and has carried over to this new EP. ‘Ducks Fly Together’ is an open, heaving love song. There is nothing sweet here, just a chest cracked open, exposing the slightly bruised but still beating heart within. On ‘Bigger Than Us’, when Wagner cries, “And when I tell you all I love you / Fuck, I couldn’t mean it more,” it seems inevitable that sweaty moshpit crowds will be screaming it back at him before long. ‘Kids’, meanwhile, is an introspective, acoustic-driven tour ode. Its stripped back opening kicks into gear by the second verse. And ‘Self Control’ is a sprawling, guttural song steeped in the misery of loneliness but manages to avoid getting bogged down by its subject matter.

 

4/5 stars

 

BY NATALIE AMAT

 

Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams is out now through Poison Records.

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