Sonny And The Sunsets — Hit After Hit
You know up front what you're getting into with this one. If the band name isn't enough to tip you off, take a gander at the Technicolor cover art and consider the album's first sentence: "When I see you, the sun starts to shine."Hit After Hit can be precious and saccharine, for sure, but its vibe isn't exactly a lovey-dovey recounting of relationship bliss. It feels more like the interior monologue of a dude trying to score chicks by acting nonchalant (think Matthew McConaughey in Dazed And Confused). He's saying, "I'll die without you," in his head, but telling the girl, "Yeah, maybe I'll run into you later," to her face.What's most intriguing about Hit After Hit is its lack of sheen, considering the subject matter. It'd be a stretch to call this stuff lo-fi, though; it's just purposefully dulled. Its closest cousin might be surf pop, or whatever genre Jeffrey Lewis fits into these days, but there's also a '50s high school dance feel present in at least half of these tracks.There's a sonic ambivalence permeating Hit After Hit that's reminiscent of Eels mastermind Mark Oliver Everett's best work, and it's probably no coincidence Smith and Everett have both spent time in and around mental health facilities (Everett visiting his sister and Smith residing on the inside, according to his bio).
"I've got the devil in me," Smith states in "Girls Beware." That'd likely be an accurate statement for both songwriters.