The Smith Street Band is starting to become a Melbourne institution.

Will Wagner’s long standing relationship with the Melbourne live music scene, having been a staple performer at makeshift house party performances as well as frequenting venues throughout the city, has seen The Smith Street Band enjoy immense success off the back of their 2011 debut, No-one Gets Lost Anymore.

It’s follow-up, Sunshine & Technology, does everything to maintain the attitude conveyed by the group from the very beginning, combining hook-laden melodies, raucous punk rhythms and Wagner’s typically incisive and personal lyrics.

Although they could easily be categorised as a punk act, to do so seems to unfairly understate the competency of these five Melburnians to not only create up-beat, aggressive anthems, but to do so with a degree of thoughtfulness and competency that seems to transcend their genre signifier.

‘Young Drunk’ and ‘Tom Busby’ epitomise the capabilities of the band to delve into the energetic nature of their punk origins, combined with dynamic timbre and thought provoking lyrical sentiments.

Wagner seems terribly comfortable with his vocal capabilities, never shying away from all-out screaming his lyrics, which only serves to affirm their sincere honesty, such as the closing sentiments of ‘What’s Changed’.

What really solidifies this record as an exceptional offering is the overall coherency of the record, clearly showing that the band have thought long and hard about the track listing and the overall dynamic of the album.

‘I Can’t Feel My Face’ flows seamlessly into ‘I Want Friends’ while ‘What’s Changed’, ‘Tom Busby’ and ‘Young Drunk’ sound as if they were three songs written to be listened to in corresponding order.

On their sophomore record, The Smith Street Band have kept the same formula while taking it to new heights in terms of musicianship, production and songwriting, which will surely see their success continue to expand.

-Morgan Benson