Graham Smith

Final Battle

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The title of this entry from indie rock wunderkind Graham Smith isn't as climactic and final as it sounds. If anything, it's a new chapter for Smith, as he's even dropped the Kleenex Girl Wonder moniker. Faced with issues such as death (two of his bandmembers shockingly died within the previous few months), he's grown up a little and has written his most mature record to date. Unlike some previous recordings, Final Battle is free of comedic bits and self-indulgence. Drawing from drum'n'bass ("Lots of Love & a Long, Long Ladder" has sputtering beats), indie rock, and straightforward pop, Smith is focused and convincing. Lyrics about an apparent breakup are further proof that he's rather serious or doing a good job of pretending to be: "Game over, I'm giving up/I've had it with this/But I guess that that's what I get." Hopefully he won't give up, because if he continues at this pace, those comparisons to Robert Pollard will soon be legitimate.

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