Review: Smoking Popes

Smoking Popes
““The Party’s Over””
(Double Zero Records)

Man, this was a great band.  I think the Popes were an instrumental part of making me who I am today and having the chance to review their lost album is an honor.  Let’s just say “The Party’s Over” was recorded a couple of years ago and never saw the light of day because the band split-up.  Essentially, this was the follow-up to 1997’s Destination Failure (one of the best albums of all-time).  Since then many bands have tried to replicate the Popes, but have never been able to get past the fact that the Popes are one of their references.  Geez, for the long-time fan you are going to be very happy with “The Party’s Over”.

The fact is these guys were still doing what they do best and have followed up previous efforts in suit. One listen to tracks like “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart” or “Valentine” and you’ll be hooked.  I think the holy and prudent referencing such as on “Why Me” with lyrics about our opportunities to embrace God is a bit much, but is definitely a window of things to come with Duvall.  Actually to hear that song alone you wouldn’t think these guys were one of the most influential punk groups of my life, but I reference the Pixies and Frank Black’s solo career which have run a similar course.  The Popes are classic.