WICKED SMILE – Wait For The Night (2021)
Melbourne five-piece classic hard rock outfit WICKED SMILE may not be a familiar band yet, but if the metal Gods are taking notice, their debut album ”Wait For The Night” will change that. Produced & mastered by Danger Danger / The Defiants Paul Laine and Bruno Ravel, the band delivers here a melodic, catchy, but at the same time a flat out, ball tearing, gut punching hard rock album that guarantees to keep you ‘smiling’ long after the CD finishes.
WICKED SMILE’s songs have purposely been written to be commercially friendly, even if they retain a fair bit of edge wrapped by a huge, vibrant production. If you are a fan of classic, straight up heavy rock that is meant to be played loud, then this band is definitely for you!
If you love your rock with a hard edge and still replete with killer melodies and sublime hooks to have you punching the air and singing along at the same time then this is a record for you. ‘Wait For the Night’ sees the band hit their stride with ten tracks that are all killer no filler, and not a dull moment amongst them.
As well as the quality of the songwriting and musicianship there’s also some wonderful production (and writing contributions) by long term friend of the band Paul Laine (The Defiants) and mastering by Bruno Ravel (The Defiants / Danger Danger). Lyrically, its an album which explores more current themes within society rather than your standard hard rock fare.
We kick things off with the searing guitar and thrust of ‘Date With the Devil’ which sports a catchy chorus and nice Skid Row-like gang vocal, it’s a blistering start. Title track ‘Wait For the Night’ then hits you with some real Metal – it’s a song that plays beautifully to the band’s influences and wouldn’t be out of place on an early Dio or Maiden album, it’s a definite favorite and a sure sign this is going to be something pretty special.
I must admit I get a hint of Dokken in the opening to ‘We Fall’ that follows, but the song is a little darker with a soaring chorus you’ll be singing yourself second time it hits.
There’s no time to take a breath before ‘Sign of the times’ adds another texture to the mix, this time it’s a sure-footed mid tempo rocker with and ear-worm of a refrain that honestly grows in stature with each play.
‘Daze of Delirium’ takes you in another direction entirely, it’s wonderfully melodic and as ’80s Rock as we get here, it’s undoubtedly one of my favorites here. Half way in we’re looking at a serious contender for one of the Rock albums of the year.
‘Killer at Large’ starts with guitars just as sizzling as we opened with. It’s a great metallic romp, followed by the “definitely not a ballad” – ‘Last Goodbye’ the prefect fist-pumping mesh of hard rock and metal which has a gloriously understated chorus that you’ll love, and the vintage-forged ‘Love’s Got a Hold on You’ which has the most insistent chorus here. It’s truly epic stuff!
That just leaves ‘Don’t wait for Me’ with it’s complete change of pace, I had though that we might get through an album without the ubiquitous ballad but when you have one in the arsenal that is this good why wouldn’t you add it to the pot. There’s a little of The Scorpions in this one for me and it’s a real ‘lighter-waver’ moment and a real tear-jerker.
By contrast ‘Stronger’ which closes proceedings takes us out in fine hard-rocking style. By the end you’ll be breathless.
It’s a wild ride for sure and one you’ll quickly find yourself taking again as you hit ‘repeat’ or whatever the steaming equivalent might be. Wicked Smile have made a huge statement here. This is an album that blends the hard rock and classic metal we love so very well. You’ll be left wondering when and where you can catch these guys live and longer term how good these guys can get.
As the press release states: “If you’re a fan of bands like ’80s Priest, Maiden, Dio, Metallica, Icon, and Skid Row or just good old Seventies and Eighties heavy rock you should love this”… and they’re right.
01. A Date With The Devil
02. Wait For The Night
03. We Fall
04. Sign 0f Times
05. Daze of Delirium
06. Killer At Large
07. Last Goodbye
08. Love’s Got A Hold On You
09. Don’t Wait For Me
Danny Cecati – vocals
Stevie Janevski – guitar
Dave Graham – guitar
Glen Cave – bass
Jason Tyre – drums
Produced by Paul Laine / Mastered by Bruno Ravel