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Roland K Smith – Roland K Smith

“I may as well be buried if I’m just gonna waste away,” sings Roland K Smith. Strong words, and slightly troubling when coming from a 24-year-old. Whether he has chosen to create a catalogue of songs out of a desperate period of personal doubt, or whether these songs stem from pure imagination, there is a potency in the storytelling. Roland K Smith was once the lead singer for renowned Sydney rockers Walrus, and as he leaves behind the bricky robustness of the latter, Smith channels here the soul of a wandering troubadour, his vocals aching and naked. There is a clear fragility to the delivery, and one could easily be reminded of the similarly haunting godfather of such songwriting, Townes Van Zandt. I’ll Write You In The Morning is pretty with its oddly squawk balladeering, and opener Someone Else lifts the curtain on the record with a heavy-roped swagger. Sometimes the clean production falls short of the latent power of the songwriting, but the performance from Smith and his consort of good players shines through, hinting at the promise of a great full-length album down the track.