"Smiling Pets" is another Sony Japan compilation album featuring weird modern bands reworking the hits of better bands from a better period in musical history! The shocking thing about this CD (cover songs from the Beach Boys late period: "Pet Sounds" + "Smile" = "Smiling Pets") is that it is DAMN GOOD.
Often plaguing these kinds of releases is a habitual, cowardly tone of cynical "kitch" or "cheeseiness" that is refreshingly absent from this CD, leaving room for some sharp productions and genuinely inspired renditions of these CLASSIC songs. Obviously we are biased because both the Secret Chiefs 3 (Good Vibrations) and FORMS (Heroes and Villians) appear on the CD, and turn in possiibly their best studio work to date. But wait until you hear Olivia Tremor Control's (USA) version of Do You Like Worms?, or Feelds' (JAPAN) incredibly well produced I Just Wasnt Made For These Times. Or what about The Ships (who?) version of Little Pad, or DM3's (USA) simply beautiful and emotive "Caroline, No"? Who ARE these fucking bands?
I really like the fact that the "unknowns" on this album outshine the bigger names in most cases. Sure, there's a little schlock, but not that much. And WAY LESS than you usually find on compilation
albums! All told, you really get the feeling that everyone who contributed to this CD actually did their best. It will truly shock you!
Not just a "collector" item at all, this should be on every Beach Boys/Brian Wilson fans shelf. And Secret Chiefs 3 fans would do well to take note as well!
William Winant - Timpani, Jaw Harp, Ankle Bells, Sleigh Bells
Danny Heifetz - Drums, Tambourine
David Slusser - Theramin
Trevor Dunn - Upright Bass, Distorted Bass
Gregg Turkington - Lead Verse Vocals
Bär McKinnon - Flute
Trey Spruance - Chorus/Harmony Vocals, Organs and Keyboards, Hollow-body Bass, Guitar, Zither, Ribbon Theramin.
William Winant - Timpani, Hammered Dulcimer
Trey Spruance - Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards