ALBUM REVIEW: Smeekered – Sportland (self-released)

Smeekered are a streetpunk band who were formed in Cumnock in Scotland a few years ago, and Sportland is their first album.

I had the pleasure of ‘seeing’ them at a socially-distanced gig in Gateshead a couple of weeks ago, and liked them so much I bought the CD.

But while they’re a relatively new band, their sound is very much from the old school, and they remind me a lot of The Business and The Last Resort.

Like those bands, the five-piece are staunchly working class, proud of where they come from, and make a very enjoyable racket, with beefy guitar riffs and gang vocals aplenty.

There’s 13 tracks of mid-paced oi! here, about the things Smeekered hold dear, like their friends, families, music and beer.

Some of the references are unmistakably Scottish, such as the opening track, Jakeballs & Jezebels, which asks “whatever happened to the working classes, the honest men, the bonny lasses?”

Big Man is about the self-inflated sorts we’ve all come across, “behaving like a kid and chancing your luck, living in a bubble and not giving a fuck”.

JoMo Sapien appears to be about overdoing things on a night out: “His lips are blue, his eyes are red, he really really needs to get to bed/ The monster juice will give him power, help him last another hour.”

Protect The Greedy is a slice of social commentary about austerity, while Look Forward is a more upbeat number about getting your life back on track.

She’s A Psycho is a cautionary tale about hooking up with the wrong type of ladies, while Dickhead’s Disco sounds like the seedy dives we’ve all ended up in: “This ain’t New York or San Francisco, you’re on the floor at Dickhead’s Disco.”

Just when you think things can’t get any better, along come Deepest Darkest Ayrshire, a joyous celebration of where they’re from, and the closing Hidden Agenda, which are probably my favourite tracks on the album. It’s a strong debut from the boys, and I can’t wait to see what they do next. 7/10.

Gary Welford owner