To be released (officially) on July 1, 2020 (Wicked Smile)
While the majority of new hard rock talent is still originating from Scandinavia / Europe and, to a lesser extent, the United States, Australia has been quietly producing some real energy in the last few years. Airbourne, Roadkill, Sister Switchblade, The Lazys, and even the guys from KAATO all honed their skills down under. Melbourne’s Wicked Smile are no different.
Although their new EP Delirium is still officially scheduled for release on July 1st, the band discovered there were significant pre-sale numbers. So, because of the whole ugly Covid-19 thing, they chose to distribute early, because people need some new rock, obviously.
I find this album to be a bit unusual, since it’s only a four song EP rather than a full-length album. Based on what I’ve heard, the band has an eight, ten, or twelve song potential to be sure. In a chat with guitarist / songwriter Stevie Janevski about this question, he stated, “Because we are a brand new band, we released one single in January. The response was fantastic and people wanted product right away. So we thought, ‘Let’s keep the quality and put out a sampler of what we are capable of.’ We didn’t want to rush an album as ‘quality’ of songs and performance are very important to us.” I think I respect that position far more than a band who tries to get too big too fast. Wicked Smile know they are not the biggest fish in the pond, and want to build their muscles to compete.
That said, their muscles run pretty strong on Delirium. I give them credit for the intro on opening track “We Fall.” It could have started with a minute long boring lead in but thankfully not so. I detected less than 10 seconds of what? A digeridoo maybe before blasting into a significantly heavy tune. Featuring some low-end Bruce Dickinson vocals from Danny Cecati and a power rock guitar delivery, I’m starting off impressed.
I’m going to save track two “Stronger” for later. “Love’s Got A Hold On You” bashes me from several angles with Whitesnake in the beginning, and morphing into something like Bonfire and with an interesting vocal chorus. I’m going to call it now, Wicked Smile are far more European melodic rock than typical Australian offerings. “Daze of Delirium” is a straightforward rocker, but again in an Euro-centric frame with melodic vocals despite the intro / verse power rock. I’m impressed that Wicked Smile have managed to incorporate so many influences into a four track EP.
I’m going to back up to track number two “Stronger.” Many readers, including myself, may be able to relate to this track and its lyrics:
You can try to knock me down, you can try to push me around
I will be stronger
No more playing the fool, no more playing by the rules
I will be stronger
Stevie Janevski tells me he wrote “Stronger” about his daughter, Cassidy. At the time, she was a hard rock tween in a school surrounded by top 40 and hip-hop music kids. I’ve been there myself and can sort of relate. But, thanks to her father’s encouragement, Cassidy Paris overcame the taunts of her classmates and has become a unique songwriter and performer in her own right. Aside from the powerful lyrical emotion on “Stronger”, I’m appreciating the Mick Mars intro and modern Judas Priest style verse.
Wicked Smile are on the melodic / heavy end of my enjoyment scale. The band is certainly worth considering, especially if you prefer European fare over the Sunset Strip. I’m glad I was given access to their EP, and will be looking forward to hearing what’s next, because there’s a lot of potential here. Thanks very much to Stevie for the honest chat. He was waking up as I was winding down — 14 hours apart! You can purchase the Delirium EP via Wicked Smile‘s secure store.
01. We Fall
03. Love’s Got A Hold On You
04. Daze of Delirium
Danny Cecati – vocals
Stevie Janevski – guitars
Paul Laine – bass
TBR – drums
Produced by Paul Laine
Mastered by Bruno Ravel
Reviewed by Metal Mike for Sleaze Roxx, May 2020
Wicked Smile‘s “We Fall” single:
Full length debut album out mid/late 2021.Official Wicked Smile store : https://www.ecwid.com/store/store21429008/ WICKED SMILE DEBUT SINGLE ‘WE FALL’Austral…
Wicked Smile‘s “Love’s Got A Hold On You” single: