Smirk

Reviews

Smirk EP 12″

It’s only been about six months since the world was treated to the debut LP from this project, but SMIRK—Nick Vicario (PUBLIC EYE, CRISIS MAN) doing the solo recording thing—is back! This time you’re getting an EP’s worth of tightly written, loosely produced pop-speckled punk. The four tracks on the A-side are a nice continuation of what you got from his debut. Rhythmically, these tracks are absolutely locked-in. But the tape warble, garage jangle, and tuneless vocals make it feel as though these songs are otherwise on the verge of falling apart, giving off quite a cool SWELL MAPS vibe—particularly in the Krautrock-y stretch of “Precious Dreams”. The three tracks on the B-side really up the pop factor—“So Original” even throws in enough vocal melody to end up sounding like the MARKED MEN. Overall, this 12” further establishes Nick as a nifty songwriter who warrants your attention in an increasingly crowded landscape of solo recording projects. Initial pressing of the LP is sold out at the source, so grab it if you run across one in the wild! Otherwise, be on the lookout for the upcoming repress.

Smirk Smirk LP

This one is too upbeat to be classified as a pandemic project. Yet, I suppose when you start something in 2020 it is impossible to avoid the connection. Under that sunny exterior lurks some annoyance and frustration. SMIRK is the solo project of PUBLIC EYE’s Nick Vicario, playing jangly, bright, minimalist pop. The vocals are a bit bratty. My fave is “Goons on the Beach,” which I will assume is about watching spring break idiots on TV. Good times.