Never Wanted This by Wild Smiles (Single)
Wild Smiles trade in their C86 pop for a grunge-infused crunch and use it to advertise their disdain for normalcy
ust over a month ago, Songwriting introduced you to three young upstarts from Winchester. Peddling a brand of buzzsaw guitar pop reminiscent of The Soup Dragons’ early work, Wild Smiles had the sort of infectious hooks that are impossible to ignore. Now they’re back with new single Never Wanted This, advertising their love for early 90s alt-rock.
Opening with a muted, seesawing riff, the trio have lost none of their immediacy, something which is evidenced by the mere 33 seconds it takes for the chorus to arrive. Gone though is the longing C86 vibe, replaced for a forceful grunge crunch that takes them towards early Foo Fighters and leaves them sounding leaner, harder and a little annoyed.
It’s this change in attitude that really alters the complexion of their sound. Like Matt Bellamy in Muse’s Muscle Museum, the lyrics attack those who seek to infect a need for normalcy. For “I have played in every toilet, but you just want to spoil it” read “I could get a job I could wear a suit, a monkey in a suit to make some money.” Unlike Muse, though, there is no sense of vengeance and no desire to make their subject feel as small as they did. Wild Smiles don’t feel they have anything to prove and consequently Never Wanted This takes a mocking tone, as the trio advertise how banal the life of Joe Average is; a life that they never wanted anyway.
Verdict: Crunchy grunge pop that mocks normalcy