Chemicals is the latest recording from the hard rock trio Smile Empty Soul and for this effort the band took a DIY approach releasing the album via their own imprint, Two Disciples Entertainment. Opener “Black and Blue” gets the party started with a killer groove and the easily recognizable raspy vocals of Sean Danielsen; it is mid-tempo and packed with hooks that command your immediate attention.

The remainder of the record follows suit with some of the best hard rock I have heard all year. These guys have a knack for writing edgy, aggressive and memorable songs that really stand out in a genre that has become so diluted and generic. I can easily picture any of these tracks doing well on modern rock radio. The standout track for me; however, is definitely “Real,” which is by far the heaviest, ballsiest track of the bunch.

Not all of the songs worked for me though, “Sitting Ducks,” a stripped down, slower tune doesn’t really go anywhere until the last minute or so and I found myself a bit bored about half-way through. Overall though this is by far one of the better hard rock releases I have heard this year and it is well worth hearing.

Chemicals Track Listing:

01. Black and Blue
02. False Alarm
03. Chemicals
04. Balance
05. Swim
06. New Low
07. Real
08. Sitting Ducks
09. Mechanical Rationality
10. Landslide

Run Time: 36:46
Release Date: October 1, 2013

Check out the song “False Alarm”