Old Smile - Elusive Day (Cassette)


Would it be outrageous to call New Jersey native, Tom Herman Jr. aka Old Smile's solo debut LP, Elusive Day a "Greatest Hits"? The twelve, snappy psychedelic jangle-pop jingles recorded over the course of two years, 2013-2015, range from derisive dirges to elated exclamations about lost loves, missed opportunities, and self-exploration. But, one thing it's missing completely: a dull moment!

From the spirited psychedelia of "It Was Lie," to soporific soundscape of "Slipping Away," to the ear-worm licks on "Empty Lines," the familiar feel of Herman's compositions can be reminiscent of his former outfit, Philly-based Arches, or other-Jersey locals, Real Estate, but the influences run even deeper and maybe more classic, like The Rolling Stones, The Zombies, or early Rundgren. Sonically and Lyrically. On "Simple," Herman paints a striking tableau of quotidian romance that resonates with just about anyone who's been in love. Same on "No Reason," a song that encapsulates a precise hopeless emotion we've all struggled with but can never quite enumerate.

Though the songs were recorded over a long period of time, they never lead you astray. The glue that binds it all together is Herman himself, who wrote, recorded, mixed, and played every instrument in this collection. Who is Tom Herman Jr. anyway? A mythic hermit from south Jersey? A well-honed bedroom savant? Listen and let us know. He's still trying to find out.