Dustin Bentall & The Smokes

This is a big sounding country popper with guts, hooks and back up vocals to burn in all the right ways. Opener “Every Chord That Rings” is your top down anthem to revisit this summer, while the dirty bass of “Just Be My Friend” and Bentall’s casual warble on “Shalala” keep things diverse. It’s the crisp production/mixing/mastering of CanRock vet Ryan Dahle (he of Limblifter, Age of Electric fame) that piques the interest here, though. Dahle, along with Mother Mother’s Ryan Guldemond, pop up playing bass and guitar on the gloriously reverby epic “Dreaming of a Nightmare”. The disc’s nine songs fit nicely into the CanRock songbook alongside Bentall’s hitmaker father Barney, but he would have made it alright on his own.

Published in Volume 68, Number 15 of The Uniter (January 8, 2014)

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