Smile Empty Soul

Vultures

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Smile Empty Soul made a decent splash with their 2003 debut album, and were on their way to releasing what might have been a smash-hit follow-up when their label dropped them in deference to protests from a religious group about one line in a song. While the world may never hear that sophomore effort, the situation provided the necessary grist for this gleefully venomous third album, bursting with raggedy angst, attitude, and grungey metal riffs that recall the best of Jane's Addiction. That said, the highlight here is the surprisingly delicate title track that posits angry words over a sadly resigned melody. That kind of songwriting indicates a soul not so empty after all.

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