The Smashup are another in a long line of post-hardcore, screamo, emo, Taste of Chaos styled acts to flood the market. I am still not a big fan of this scene, but every once in awhile an act will transcend the label and actually grab my attention. The Smashup are one of those bands that is able to hold my attention, somewhat.
The band may fall under that screamo type banner, but there are other influences here; I sense touches of alternative and metal creeping in. This combines to create an interesting concoction that makes the bands name perfectly suited to the music. The sound is indeed a "smashup" of other styles. There is some heavy riffing and fist pumpingly raspy vocals that just dig themselves into your head.
If nothing else, they are incredibly catchy in their well structured music. Unfortunately, that is also a problem with them. They are so catchy it is hard to believe it had a natural evolutionary course, it is almost too catchy and structured to not have had some sort of label influence. I can almost see some label execs standing behind the mixing board, and even in the darkest corners of the studio, directing traffic. Quietly becoming the puppetmasters, pulling the strings of another young band. On the other hand, perhaps they are just this well structured and able to create this maturely constructed madness.
The sound is a double edged sword. Vocalist Watt White leads the band through the insanity with his raspy, barely controlled vocal style, while guitarist Vin Alfieri leads the structured instrumental portion of the band. It is odd, almost as if they are being held back, perhaps fearing their full energy would fail to be captured on the shiny disks. White is the star of the show, his vocals are front and center, grabbing your attention and keeping you from thinking too hard about the possible letdown of rest of the band. He has a voice that hangs onto control and is truly the main reason to listen to them.