Photograph by Victoria Jacob

Suckers play indie rock. They play it at dizzying speed. Suckers are the answer to “hipsters don’t dance.” Their recently released full-length Wild Smile has an immediate familiarity to it, their buoyant melodies keep you guessing – just when you think you’re getting bouncy Clap Your Hands Say Yeah synth lines you’re lifted into a roaring Yeasayer chorus and barraged with tribal drums à la Dodos. Suckers gravitate around booming anthems, experimental melodies, and harmonizing that would turn Robin Pecknold’s head. Their music is afloat in colourful rhythm sections and catchy to the point that this review is being written at 120 BPM. Frenchkiss Records has a knack for picking-up our favourite bands, as it was with Passion Pit and the Antlers last year, we now have a gem in Suckers.

Wild Smile is a reason to sing along, stomp your feet, and remember why you love music. The album is a scrapbook of pop sensibilities, free from pretense, glowing in energy, and ballooning in scope. The album draws from such a wide array of influences that it doesn’t simply reinvent a genre but breathes new life into the ways we can approach music. Admittedly, Quinn Walker lead singer of Suckers may not have been aiming for such far-reaching effects, but it would be hard to say Wild Smile doesn’t transcend indie rock, moving into a realm of philosophy, art, and ushering in an age of two-stepping hipsters.

The eleven precociously crafted tracks that comprise Wild Smile bare an unsettling energy. The album opens with the unsuspecting track ‘Save Your Love for Me’ with slowly building guitars and a refined piano for the first three minutes and fifteen seconds. At which point the track heavily punches with Walker’s vocal schizophrenia and devolves to an unshakable falsetto battle between thundering percussion and ripped guitars. The opener provides a foundation for ‘Black Sheep’ a track that ignores any hint of subtleties and takes shape as an urgent rhythm section provides a stage for shrieking guitar riffs drowning in a bubbling sea of mayhem.

Suckers – Save Your Love for Me
Suckers – Black Sheep
Suckers – A Mind I Knew

The Brooklyn quartet thrills with a grandiose sound coming through with startlingly tight compositions amidst a fevered urge to blend brass, strings, and an entire scale of agonized wails to get you dazed and sweaty. Wild Smile is beautifully compiled and echoes with hints of Yeasayer’s producer Anand Wilder. Suckers specialize in pulling you into a swirling mass of simple chords, well-crafted melodies, and uncompromising vocals. The peculiar mass of noise quickly forms a booming tornado of sound, escalating to unfathomable heights as an epic saga of horn-brandishing Zach Condon’s do battle with mandolin-wielding Win Butler’s in the flurry. Simply put, the chaos of Wild Smile is marvelously crafted and ensures to deliver smirks of a mad variety.


— , June 23, 2010    1 Comment

wild smile is definitely one of my favorite albums of the year. suckers is awesome live

— chissy n, July 5, 2010