The Smoke Detectors’ latest record I Never Said I Needed You Here is eighteen minutes of pure, fun, emo punk pop. Over the course of five tracks, the band showcases their talent for penning catchy, though wonderfully quirky rhythms. Lyrically, the album touches on a range of subjects from being under paid to suffering through life and the ruinous nature of breakups. Overall, this short album packs a delightful punch that’s tinged with the cynical edge of emo rock.
To me, The Smoke Detector’s have a glorious sound. It runs somewhere close to classic Blink-182, though slightly heavier. Think of Good Charlotte’s old sound, with a little more attitude. No matter how you describe it, the band’s music fits neatly inside the classic punk pop genre.
Additionally, it is worth mentioning they have two vocalists who trade off with one another. According to the album credits on their band amp page, the Smoke Detectors only had two recording members. The drummer and guitarist swap back and forth, one offering his coarse voice and they other his lighter more “punk” voice.
I Never Said I Needed You is a fun album, especially for fans of punk pop. It contains all of the classic bits you would expect from a solid punk pop album: sweet little riffs that nestle themselves in your mind and infective lyrics bursting with emotion.
The Smoke Detectors also bring a gritty, vibrant attitude to the table. Their lyrics aren’t overloaded with rude remarks or blistering with an absurd number of curses; however you know just how the band feels. For example, “Water Friends IV” opens with the line “I fucking hate you”. This may seem harsh, but the song is about the loss of friendship. The title is cleverly disguised, but it translates to “what-are-friends-for”.
I really like the mix of vocals on the album. The guitarist and base player trade off with one another at times, and other times they both sing, intertwining their different styles. Not only does this give the band more flexibility, it gives their music more texture and depth.
Songs Worth Investigating
This album is filled with songs that are potential singles, besides the first one, which serves as an intro to the record. “Dank Magician”, the opening track, features people talking, perhaps at a party or small gathering. Overtop of this, the band plays softly. And, oddly enough, I love this song, because of the music. Its quiet and soothing, with a punk pop twist.
“Water Friends IV” is, in my opinion, the stand out track. All of the tracks are smooth and just as fun the second or third time through. However, something about this song sticks out to me. It could be the instruments, which are slightly on the gentle side, while the lyrics, as I mentioned, are riddled with a rough attitude. The meaning of this song will undoubtedly change depending on your personal experiences. Some may hear a “breakup” song, while others hear a song describing their family, who have deserted them.
This album will appeal to fans of pop punk and emo rock. Anyone interested in a fun ride, through punk rhythms and quirky, emotional lyrics will also find this record entertaining. I Never Said I Needed You Here is available on bandcamp for purchase and it can be streamed, along with the rest of the Smoke Detector’s music, on their Spotify channel. And of course, they are on all major social media outlets