Self-confessed noise maker, Dean Smyth, is known in the musical world as Storm & The Dales, and if he thinks he’s making a racket, what a fine racket indeed. His EP ‘Delusions of Grandeur’ is described as a cacophony of neo psychedelic indie folk rock. Now, draw another breath.
The opening to the EP, Bad Little Girl, reveals a cleverly blended love song with light and chirpy melodies and yet a contemptuous tone to the lyrics. Love is never as simple as sweet or sour, and the song highlights the complexity within that. The background vocals reflect the Beatles common shadow harmonies, and this satirical love song is dripping with allure.
Heart And Soul further develops the common theme of lost love with the words “my heart and soul, you wear it on a sleeve.” This is a much darker track however and feels like a soundtrack to a scene from the Doors film. The hazy vocal and sweeping guitar provides a psychedelic setting and the lyrics are creative and interesting.
With an almost immediate return to his happy place, It’s Not Me It’s You is similar in many ways to the first track but perhaps a little sweeter. The charming PG lyrics and wonderfully reassuring chord progression may sound simple, but simplicity is the key to music and here, Storm & The Dales illustrates his craft in melody.
In No Love, there is a stark U-turn. Melody, having seemed so significant, has been shelved in favour of the song’s beat and feel. This song features Saigon Shredder and also represents Storm & The Dales experimental side of the brain. Mid-way through the song, indescribable electronic sounds arrive; as if played on a flute from the future. However, at over four minutes in length, it runs a tad long for fresh ears.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf wraps things up and it’s probably the worst song of the lot. The sixties surfer vibe is relatively catchy, but unlike the other songs, there is little or no experimentation and it simply sounds like a cover song being led through the motions.
While experimenting to the fullest degree, Storm & The Dales still accomplishes a great pop record with sing-along choruses. Let’s hope he carries on making noise.