Winchester’s Wild Smiles are purveyors of the sort of noise-pop that’s bound to leave a wide grin on your face
Names: Chris Peden (guitar/vocals), Joe Peden (bass/vocals), Ben Cook (drums)
Location: Winchester, England
Style: Melodic buzzsaw guitar pop, reminiscent of C86 faves The Soup Dragons
Look out for: Single Fool For You is out on June 2, with the band’s debut album currently being recorded
For some, the 80s’ fey pop scene died when the combustion that fired The Smiths’ magic exploded and Morrissey descended gracelessly up his tightly clenched proverbial.But while Morrissey and co may have been the focal point, underneath was a thriving underbelly of guitar pop that has endured. It is this bowl from which Winchester trio Wild Smiles consume their musical chowder, and with it C86 and its glorious crashing guitar pop is alive and well.
Though the recording of their debut album is still underway, after a tour in which they “became the band we are today” saw them shelve their earlier recorded LP, Songwriting has already discerned much to be admired in Wild Smiles. Upcoming single Fool For You is a melodic assault ripped straight from the C86 songbook and had us hooked instantly.
Their melodic noise stems from a desire to mix competing textures, with guitarist/vocalist and principal songwriter Chris Peden explaining: “My inspiration is in trying to merge together the lighter and the heavier stuff and finding the right balance between the two.”
It’s unsurprising then, that Wild Smiles count The Beatles and Nirvana among their influences. Peden explains how those bands have influenced his songwriting. “With the album I’d never written on an acoustic guitar before and that was really useful because it ensured a real focus on the quality of the songs,” he says. “I think that sometimes artists have a great sound or vibe, but that the song itself isn’t so strong. The really great bands have songs that stand out whatever their vibe. Bands like The Beatles and Nirvana, you could take their songs and do anything to them and they’d still sound great’.
Aside from being committed to writing great music, lyrics too have become of real importance to Chris. Having admitted that they were initially “the thing that I completed last” he now considers them second only to melody. Indeed he spoke of how proud he is of the lyrics to the b-side of Wild Smiles’ next single.
Fool For You is out on June 2 and though their album is yet to be completed, we advise that you keep a mental note of it. We certainly will be.
Keep up to speed with the band’s progress and forthcoming live dates here