Smith Westerns

Sophistication isn’t a word you’d normally associate with a group of 20-year-old boys, but the second record from Chicago’s Smith Westerns, last month’s Dye It Blonde, proves that polishing and glamorizing garage rock is possible—and fruitful. The aristocratic Dye It Blonde is one of the year’s most breathtaking releases. On standouts like “Weekend” and “All Die Young,” Max Kakacek’s guitar rips and wails with a stately quality that complements frontman Cullen Omari’s youthfully sincere vocals—because of his tender age, he can sing things like “Love and lust—how come that is such a must?” and still sound winsome and genuine. Lush and lulling atmospherics, bold guitars that riff grandeur and aplomb, bleeding lyrics about the best years of young lives—somewhere, the ghost of Marc Bolan must be smiling. With Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Pharmacy. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Thu., Feb. 17, 8 p.m., 2011

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