What happens when you put two of Dayton, Ohio’s best music writers in a band together? Turns out, you get Smug Brothers, a highly melodic lo-to-mid-fi Indie Rock band with great songs and more than one connection to the city’s godfathers of Indie, Guided By Voices.
Singer/guitarist Kyle Melton (formerly of Dayton band Montgomery Greene and a music writer for the weekly Dayton City Paper) founded the band in 2004 and, along with musician Darryl Robbins, released the homemade Buzzmounter in 2005. Melton soon brought one of the best-known drummers from the Dayton scene into the fold — Don Thrasher, who’s played with Guided By Voices and the critically acclaimed Swearing at Motorist and is the music critic for the Dayton Daily News.
GBV seems to be in the DNA of a lot of Dayton Indie rockers, so it’s not surprising that it’s difficult to not think of Robert Pollard when listening to Smug Brothers’ previous releases (including the strong full-length from last year, Fortune Rumors). But on the excellent EP Treasure Virgins, which came out later last year, the band seems to be developing more of its own voice. You can still hear the echoes of great, early British Pop (Kinks, Beatles) and classic American Power Pop (Big Star), but the more obvious GBV-esque elements (for example, the lo-fi vocals with snatches of delay here and there) are toned down. The EP is the first release from Melton (who also ran the excellent Buddha Den music blog) and Thrasher’s relaunched label, Gas Daddy Go!, which the drummer founded in 1989 but had been dormant for the past decade. (As if they weren’t busy enough, Thrasher and Melton also organize October’s Dayton Music Fest.)
The bottom line is that Smug Brothers make tight, unfussy songs that, if you catch them at their Cincinnati debut Saturday at The Comet, will have you humming along for days afterwards.
SMUG BROTHERS perform Saturday, April 28 with guests The Minor Leagues. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.