Tag Archives: Smithereens

Blown to Smithereens

I had forgotten how very much I like jumping up and down to nearly everything The Smithereens have done. Pure simple crunchy rock, the way folks did it way back in the 60s.

Watching Pat DiNizio play the guitar, it doesn’t even look like he’s trying, belying the enormous sounds that result. Though so many of the songs have desperately sad lyrics, Pat always sounds so hopeful, as if somehow, some way, it’s all gonna be okay.

 Maybe I won't be afraid to love somebody new Maybe I can open up my heart Then I won't drown in my own tears

(The chorus of ‘Drown in My Own Tears’)

See? It has a happy ending. (Okay, you probably have to hear the song to get the feel.)

Okay, how about this, then?

 Now she held a bass guitar and she was playin' in a band And she stood just like Bill Wyman; now I am her biggest fan

(from ‘Behind a Wall of Sleep’)

Quite a few of their hits open with a very Beatle-esque guitar riff. DiNizio makes no secret of his love for the Fab Four’s music—Smithereens have covered the Beatles’ entire first album. The riff in Only a Memory sounds like the riff from I Want to Tell You but phrased a little differently. The similarities are clearly homage, not theft.

Two special favorites from Blown to SmithereensBehind a Wall of Sleep and Drown in My Own Tears. ‘Drown’ hit the radio at a time when I thought I would do exactly that; ah, the happy memories of being a teenager. (Isn’t it wonderful that we only suffer through that age once?) And ‘Sleep’—how can I not love a song about a beautiful bass-playing girl?

This is happy music, despite the lyrics. I can’t not have fun listening to Blown to Smithereens (usually, just a little too loud.)

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