Posted on October 11, 2007
Album Review: Wicked Smart by The Predicates
I was asked by Greg at GreggOConnell.com to review his bands new album: Wicked Smart by The Predicates. I’m not much of a music reviewer, but fortunately, Gregg doesn’t know that :). I’m kidding…for not knowing me at all he probably couldn’t have asked a better person to review his new album. I have no formal music reviewing training, but I have done more than my fair share of time in the bitter love affair that is music. More on that later (I have a feeling this post has inspired me to write a future one about past experiences…perhaps a joint effort with Deuce if he were ever to post again?)…and now – On to the Music!
I downloaded their album in mp3 format at an undisclosed location, and fired up winamp. The name, “Wicked Smart” tipped me off as to some East Coast roots, as no one in San Diego (or anywhere in SoCal for that matter) has ever used the word wicked (slang or otherwise). Not a bad sign, just a tip off that we have some outside influences coming into play here, which is pretty cool if you have heard a lot of the same shitty ass-rock and OB-based reggae hacks that flood the SD music scene. (Hey, I’m not saying they are all bad – check out Gadfly, local SD reggae band that had me dancing with some OB Hippies, clutching pitchers of beer in both hands at Winstons a couple of weeks ago.) There is some good music here, you just have to find it…and if you are looking for a change of pace – you may have found it in The Predicates.
The Album starts off with “I’m No Scientist” which features some cool vocal harmonies between male and female vocalists that do a surprisingly good job of complementing each other. A few cool little breakdowns – and a cool chorus about “fucking something up”. Maybe I’m immature (ok, not maybe…), but I love this in acoustic music. Reminds me of Owen – great chilled out acoustic rock but its pretty raw and real when you hear him yelling “FUCK” at the top of his lungs. I took the same vibe from The Predicates. This is good.
Heading deeper into the album there is some cool old school Dashboard Confessional-esque acoustic jams that I really enjoyed (Raining in New England really hit me as this for some reason). The keyboards are a nice touch most of the time, adding a bit of electronic feel to an acoustic sound…it works well together. I can imagine this type of stuff is great for coffee shops and smaller, chill, venues.
I hit up the track “Want What We Know”, and had to laugh a bit when I heard the guitar intro. Just made me think “who hasn’t made a song out of those 4 chords”, but getting into it…its actually a pretty good jam. More solid vocal harmonies and some pretty intense, thoughtful lyrics. A bit of keyboards or synth woven in towards the end that helps it build appropriately, although the ending is pretty abrupt. I was feeling it until it just stopped out of nowhere and it felt like my ears hit a god damn brick wall! Regardless, its still pretty good.
Overall, I can say these guys will make it onto my ipod. I feel like I should be listening to them with a hoodie on, hood pulled over my head and headphones in my ears, walking around downtown with my hands in my pockets and contemplating the changes that fall brings…in fact, I work downtown, so I just might do that. I give it two thumbs up on my patented rating system, and recommend it for all – It’s good music to listen to for this time of year.
Check them out at www.thepredicates.com
or on Myspace at http://myspace.com/thepredicates