With what could possibly qualify as the worst album cover of the year, Smile, the latest offering from New Jersey's post-hardcore/alt foursome, seems to be about having your life captured on camera à la Truman Show. Not mind-blowingly deep, but yay for cohesion. What you end up with, though, is a dull batch of songs that make the band seem confused about how to proceed musically. With the exception of the snide and witty Williamsburg, the bulk of Smile is no more than hard pop that flounders in a mess of predictable melodies and power chords, while founder/singer Ben Jorgensen sounds far too safe for his own good, relying on the same old, same old.
Armor for Sleep play the Guvernment November 9.