Hi Bob, Act 2: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Part 126

SMF - the mysteries ep - self-released - 6 songs - digital

It’s been a while since we checked in with our old pals SMF, which means we’ve missed around ten albums and EPs. My bad, guys. They haven’t changed their sound much in that time, though there are a couple here that weren’t what I expected. We’ve got a few acoustic guitar-based indie rock tracks, “One More Trip” and “Mysteries” that bring to mind some forgotten Bob Pollard track (more on Bob later); two that are somewhat intense with blown out production (of course) and I guess an overall more electric feel, “Whip The Whale” and what may be my favorite track here, the dramatic “Lover” (or as dramatic as a song under two minutes can be); an opening instrumental with lo-fi electronic drums and some eerie keyboard which is mysteriously credited as being written by “SMF and Star Bather,” so we get a new character in the SMF universe— this one doesn’t really go anywhere and for some reason is the longest song on the whole thing (an epic two minutes, one second); and the weirdest one, “Return Of El Corazon,” which combines the “Mysteries” and “Lover” styles but bafflingly features some operatic vocals— I can’t really tell what he’s saying (and I wonder which member of the band it is– I wonder a lot of things about this band) but I’m assuming it makes some kind of sense somehow. Anyway, there are definitely some interesting ideas here and good songs in the mix but, like Bob Pollard at times (I told you he’d be back), this band puts out so much it can sometimes be hard to figure out where the best stuff is amongst the sea of oddities and experiments. In a way, though, I don’t wanna know anything about the way they work— I don’t even like knowing that they have four members and apparently communicate via smoke signal (and yet always get ahold of me via email). It’s more fun to just imagine and ponder for oneself what might be happening. That’s the real mystery here. 3/5


Are you a local-ish band? Do you have a record out? Email vaguelythreatening@gmail.com or send it directly to the Observer: PO Box 770203, Lakewood, OH 44107.


Volume 18, Issue 20, Posted 11:56 AM, 10.19.2022