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Smash Mouth

Smash Mouth

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Album Review

Smash Mouth is easy to like and easy to hate, depending on your point of view. It's easy to see why some listeners could get irritated at their incandescent, irrepressibly sunny sound, especially if it's pounded out on the radio endlessly; so it seems like every station has adopted "All Star" as their personal signature. But it's easy to love them for the reason they got to that status: their effortless way of updating classic frat rock to sound breezy, hip, and fun, thanks to their healthy love of surf and new wave. They do this best on their singles, of course — unless they're covering a straight-up oldies like the Monkees' "I'm a Believer," which is simply too predictable; they're much better when they're tackling Let's Active ("Every Word Means No") or the Four Seasons via Fun Boy Three ("Can't Get Enough of You, Babe") — but they can be just as endearing on their album cuts, as their strong, eponymous third effort shows. There are no new tricks here by any stretch (except the sub-Blur electronic piss-take "Keep It Down"), but it's all done sharply, melodically, and happily. If you've grooved on Smash Mouth's singles and want more of the same, this delivers reliably, which may be an unadorned pleasure for some and a guilty one for others.

Biography

Formed: 1994 in San Jose, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A novelty rock band in the same vein as Presidents of the United States of America, but with surf and garage influences instead of the Presidents' punk/thrash background, Smash Mouth found a hit in 1997 with the '50s-influenced "Walkin' on the Sun." The group was formed in 1994 in San Jose, CA, by vocalist Steve Harwell, a former rapper with the group F.O.S. After that group disintegrated, he began jamming with an old friend, drummer Kevin Coleman. Harwell's former manager introduced him to guitarist...
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Smash Mouth, Smash Mouth
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