Three rambunctious Chicago musicians got together to form Smoke No. 7. After a long 10 hour night of smoking probably more than seven cigarettes and drinking whiskey, they recorded their self-titled three track EP. They recorded at Fullerton Recording Studios in Chicago.
Smoke No. 7 aims for a dirty rock n roll sound, but they end up with a more whiney southern rock tone. The bass intro to Succubus promises funk at first but turns into a more Lynryd Skynrd and The Allman Brothers type of sound. The first guitar solo climbs and climbs for a building into the subject of the singer being seduced and strangled. The second guitar solo screams on the higher register, mimicking the effect of the singer being strangled.
Track 2 sets off with a nice picking guitar intro before slow, raspy vocals kick in. “as lonely as I am after this basement.” Their instrumental skill is obviously strong, but the vocals and lyrics bring down the EP’s potential with immature songwriting and cacophonous vocals. The repetition of “higher” would be better suited for a high school stoner punk band than a classically trained hard rock band.
“Assassin” begins with a quiet, classic guitar intro that roughly transitions to a heavy metal rhythm. Although the song is called “Assassin” the lyrics “you fuck the world with your innocence / you play angel when it is convenient” sound more like slut-shaming than a noir murder mystery world. In conjunction with the repeated “I will hunt you down” chorus, and the ego guitar at the end, the song is a creepy display of male power.
Smoke No.7 is a solid EP that has some impressive moments but also may benefit from refining their sound.
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