In 2006 The Smithereens did something really unique – they did a covers album. Actually, they covered an album. The Smithereens recorded the Beatles breakthrough album, Meet The Beatles, from the first track through the last. Meet the Smithereens is a fun romping and wonderful re-imagining of the spirit of the early Liverpool Beatles as heard through the power-pop chords and Marshall amps of New Jersey’s Smithereens.
On May 5th, the Smithereens are back at it again with the release of the Who’s Tommy. As much as I was ready to roll my eyes at the thought of it – in listening to the samples found at the bottom of the page at http://flashenhanced.com/thesmithereensplaytommy/, I found myself mesmerized by the AMAZING drums of Dennis Diken and the INCREDIBLE guitar work of Jim Babjak. While the promo cleverly promotes the record as The Smithereens play Tommy, Dennis and Jimmy steal the show with perhaps the best sounding drums and guitar since… well yes, Keith Moon and Pete Townsend.
This work is less about flattery and more about homage to one of the bands that made the Smithereens possible. This is a great sounding album – I cannot wait to buy it May 5th. I will also be wondering which Kinks album will be covered next – bringing the triptych of influences of the Smithereens full circle.
Enjoy the world’s longest album sample at the link above and hear for yourself Dennis and Jimmy demonstrating how impossible it would be to imagine this band without them.