Dressed in leather, brandishing heavy guitars, and exhibiting an unabashed fetish for British Invasion pop, the Smithereens were an anomaly on the American college rock scene of the late 1980s. Lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Pat DiNizio stood out not only with his strange beatnik goatee, but also because his catchy hooks were haunting, not punchy, and because his lyrics were morose. As time wore on, the group became more straightforward, turning into an excellent bar band, one that attacked pop songs with the weight of AC/DC. The group wound up with two Top 40 hits during the late '80s and early '90s -- "A Girl Like You" was a powerhouse on modern and mainstream rock, "Too Much Passion" showed off their pop side -- but as the '90s continued, the Smithereens turned into a working band, playing regular gigs and recording on occasion.
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