A couple of weeks ago, everyone's favorite power pop band The Smithereens released a new album from the vaults: The Lost Album. Frankly, I was surprised by this news as new material has been hard to come by in recent years. Their last album 2011 was great, but nothing new since then. And of course, with lead singer Pat DiNizio's passing in 2017, it seemed impossible.
So imagine my delight when I heard there was a lost album from '93 being released. I reached out to founding guitarist and GuitarVibe friend Jim Babjak to get the scoop.
"The tracks appear as we left them in 1993. After we were signed to RCA to record “A Date with the Smithereens,” we moved on and these songs were left behind. They were mastered, but not altered since the master tapes were destroyed in a warehouse fire. All we had were the mixes on a DAT tape.
"It was very emotional listening to this now, especially since Pat is now gone. This is a wonderful time capsule of where our heads were at during this difficult time in between record deals. We’ve always been survivors, this album shows our endurance even when the chips were down."
Indeed, it's a fantastic album. This is the Smithereens at the height of their power: outsized power chords, fantastic melodies, with a high-energy raw sound. Stand out tracks include: Out of this World, Dear Abby, Monkey Man, I'm Sexy. Of course, it sounds like classic Smithereens because it is classic Smithereens! American songwriter says:
"These are finely crafted tunes that any Smithereens fan will embrace. They mesh perfectly with the act’s classic, unembellished and ageless rock and roll and are a reminder of what the world lost with the passing of DiNizio."
Salon calls it:
"An unexpected blast from the past!"
Check out the album. And note the band is on tour with Marshall Crenshaw filling in on lead vocals, which is a perfect homage to Pat. There are upcoming gigs in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Ohio, Arizona, New Jersey and beyond. Jim confirmed they will be performing some of the Lost Album tracks on this tour.