This 2022 record of pretty much all new material from The Smithereens (previously covered here) comes to us by way of 1993. Wait, what? Well, it turns out that when the band was in between record companies back then, they had decided to make an album on their own. So, that's what they did. Recorded over just one month, they never got a chance to put it out as by the time they finished, they had already signed with another company. These tracks got put into a literal shoebox only to be discovered 30 or so years later.
More than casual fans of the band will know that lead singer Pat DiNizio developed health problems during his later years and finally succumbed to them in 2017. Listening to this record is like hearing a ghost - these are songs you've never heard sung by someone who is no longer with us. Clocking in at right around 42 minutes, these 12 tracks serve up The Smithereens like you know and love them - tight power pop gems with jangly guitars and DiNizio's vocals in perfect form.
The album opener, 'Out Of This World,' was the lead off single, so I would start with that. Next give 'Don't Look Down' a listen - not only will you love the chiming guitars (though piped through a bit of distortion) but there's also a very heavy bass line that percolates through the song. 'Pretty Little Lies' would be a throw away of a song save for the fact that it really reminds me of The Hollies' 'Bus Stop' - see if you agree. Lastly, 'Stop Bringing Me Down' could have easily fit in on the seminal 11 that I had discussed back in early January.