In their heyday in the mid-‘80s and early ‘90s, New Jersey’s Smithereens played ‘60s-inspired rock ‘n’ roll, strong on melody and electric guitars. In the new century, the group have embraced their roots like no other, re-recording classic rock for its own sake, from an entire re-creation of the Beatles’ Meet the Beatles and their early B-sides to an abbreviated take on the Who’s 1969 rock opera masterpiece Tommy. Artistically, it’s more about execution than innovation. The Smithereens aren’t re-interpreting the material but stripping it to its essentials and enjoying Pete Townshend’s timeless melodies in the process. They can’t hope to better the Who’s own take on “Pinball Wizard” or “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” but they show a genuine understanding of the music and modest tracks such as “It’s A Boy” and “Go to the Mirror” resonate with power and grace. The guitar sounds are strong and singer Pat DiNizio may be no Roger Daltrey but he’s an ambitious understudy, while drummer Dennis Diken knows better than to try and outdo the great Keith Moon, though the playing on “Sparks” is pretty damned inspired.
It's a Boy
Eyesight to the Blind
Go to the Mirror
Tommy, Can You Hear Me?
We're Not Gonna Take It / See Me Feel Me / Listening to You