Koalacaust - Smiles Shine Like Broken Glass [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Smiles Shine Like Broken Glass [7-inch] (2010)

Mountain Man

Koalacaust–inherently goofy name, totally ace sound.

The band's three-song 7", Smiles Shine Like Broken Glass offers spiky, sprightly and slightly spazzy pop-punk à la friends Joyce Manor (particularly certain, strained vocal inflections) but with '90s emo noodles and a bit of folk-punk brashness. (According to a lineup change, similar artists on last.fm and a personal note on the lyric page, all signs point to the idea that Koalacaust used to play pretty straight-up folk-punk, which this is not. Be prepared for change, old fans.) It's an interesting concoction that all comes together nicely and seems to offer something a bit different.

The little rhythmic pushes in opener "Mirrors" offer a cool, compelling sprout of dynamism, while "Blueprint" is big and endearingly sloppy, gang shouts and daintily riffy collisions all. That type of Mountain Goats-inspired, Plan-It-X rawness infects 4:28 closer "The Woods" a bit, but the band has this amazingly scrappy and free procession about themselves, and following along with their twinkly, jangly buildup that breaks down and up multiple times is an enjoyable and almost exhausting experience.

This is a really pretty good 7" (and perhaps evolution) from the San Francisco act that offers something new and familiar all at once. Some of these sounds are pretty in-style right now, sure, but Koalacaust is spinning them all together in a refreshing way.

Smiles Shine Like Broken Glass EP