Smile are a five piece indie band from Reading who sound like they've been locked in a room for weeks listening to nothing but a radio with the dial locked on the US college equivalent of UK Gold. Their debut EP Closer is packed with sweet vocals and chiming guitars that could easily be an echo from another, simpler, age.

The title track sounds like an offcut from Mary Star Of The Sea, the debut album from Zwan, Billy Corgan's shortlived Smashing Pumpkins offshoot. It's imbued with a happy, carefree, summers here attitude and a cavernous, chiming guitar that'll make the perfect companion to a summer barbecue.' Nightlife' and 'Swim' plough similar furrows and it's all beginning to sound a little samey, a little one paced, a little pedestrian. Just when I was hoping it'd soar it limps. It puffed and puffed but it just didn't blow me away.

I was hoping that 'Karma Comedian', the intriguingly titled final track, would finally knock me over. I was hoping that Smile would finally make me smile with a vaguely humorous college rock reimagining of The Culture Club's 80s number one. Somewhat disappointingly it starts out like it wants to join the Teenage Fanclub before morphing into the kind of psych fringed rock that Kula Shaker were churning out in their sleep in the late 90s.

Overall the EP just didn't excite me, it didn't grab me by the throat and demand I love it. It's a solid, honest to goodness debut full of unassuming coalface college rock that'll probably go down a storm in the US but sounds curiously out of step with the musical tastes of the UK's musical cognoscenti.

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