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Smash Into Pieces “Radioactive Mother (Lover)”/ Rise and Shine Review

“Radioactive Mother (Lover)”/ Rise and Shine Review

By:  Gabe Straight, Music Journalist,  Boston Rock Radio



Imagine a city in peril. Bad guys running amok, a city in flames, and no normal man can stop them. What’s the first person you think of that you would call to save the day? Is it Superman? Well, Sweden’s Smash into Pieces thinks it should be Batman. The Swedish EDM-Rock hybrid pens in the song “Let Me Be Your Superhero” off their newest effort “Rise and Shine,” “I’m of to save the world, like I’m some kind of Batman.” This is one of many things that threw me for a loop on SIP’s newest release, maybe not in a good way, but enough to keep me interested.


Listening to SIP’s “Rise and Shine, ”the isolated elements that make the band unique are essentially derivative. The vocals sound like their imitating Chad Kroeger, the EDM production would have EDM heavyweights like Hardwell and David Guetta saying “been there, done that” and the guitar/bass/drums don’t exactly have a unique mix to them. It’s by combining these elements that make SIP as unique as they are. While I have definitely heard bands try to combine rock and electronic before, I never heard a band try to incorporate specifically EDM. The band describes itself as a combination of electronic and rock, but the spectrum between rock and metal SIP rides leans much closer to metal than they do to rock. Like In Loving Memory, in their “Introspective” release earlier this year (which I also reviewed for BRR and you should totally check out), while the band tries to implement rock music and electronic into the same song, it is very clear one of the two genres is put aside in any given moment in the song. SIP’s sound is less of a combination of the two genres and more of a consideration of the two.


As an electronic album, Rise and Shine has a couple things going for it. Apocalypse DJ’s production is very clean-cut and bright, he implements a variety of tones for each song, and it’s very clear EDM is the band’s strong suit. The hooks on each of the songs are catchy and well-structured. I could totally see the band getting regular radio play off the EDM quality alone.


Sadly, this is where my admiration for the album ends. I highlighted the EDM aspect of Rise and Shine because the rock elements leave a lot to be desired. The “real” instruments are mixed to heavily they lose any personality, they might as well be a MIDI plug-in. Production elements are a great way to exemplify why combining rock/metal and electronic/EDM does not work. Electronic producing needs to be streamlined and seamless, while rock music strives off of the rawness of the guitars and drums. Anyway, I couldn’t help but groan at the end of “Turn It Down” and the title track when the singer starts doing metal growls, because it reminds me of a band that’s trying way too hard to be unique applying a genre that just isn’t. Another thing that bothered me in the band’s music was their lyrics. I know in EDM it’s typically implied that the lyrics pretty much mean nothing, but that’s what I found off about SIP. On one hand, you have songs like “Animal” that talk about how “you should’ve known much better… that I’m better than you”, and then you have the song two minutes later titled “Yolo” (not “YOLO”, “Yolo”), where the band yells, “f*** it, yolo… I just want to get burned tonight.”  The fact that these two songs are lyrical opposites of each other, I can’t help but feel like the band wears their words like a mask, taking them off and putting on another whenever it’s convenient for them. The lyrics end up meaning nothing.


Let me talk about the song I liked the most, which was their single I’m talking about in addition to the band’s release, which is “Radioactive Mother (Lover).”  Initially, I was unsure as to why SIP wanted to have separate releases for Rise and Shine and “Radioactive”, but once I listened to both the album and the single, my confusions were extinguished. “Radioactive” is one of the catchiest singles I have heard all year. The chorus is an earworm of a hook, I could remember the line long after I stopped listening to it. Of course, talking about “Radioactive” is impossible without mentioning the continuous western feel that sounds like Hardwell remixing the “Rawhide” theme song. Twangy guitar lines, the occasional “Hoo!” in the background, silky-smooth strings, this song knows what it’s about. The song isn’t perfect, but it’s damn close. My only gripes with the song rests in the western feel: there’s not enough of it. You can tell the band is trying to put their signature sound below a slew of western archetypes, but I couldn’t help but wonder what the song would be like if SIP went full “Rawhide” (something like The Offspring’s “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” comes to mind). Combining the western feel with electronic music and then combining that with rock leaves the song feeling just a bit too cluttered.


Overall, this is a collection of music that has some things going for it, and some things holding it back. If the band ditches the hard rock and goes full EDM, I could see them being a major success (or him, since most of the band would have nothing to do and have to leave). With songs like “Radioactive Mother (Lover)”, Smashed Into Pieces has a good amount of promise, and I hope they can improve upon their sound, find a more unique voice, and keep making catchy hooks and pounding beats. They might even convince me to move to Sweden (I hear the fish is excellent).


Rise and Shine: 7/10


Radioactive Mother (Lover): 8/10

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