Middle America has become a hotbed for a barrage of up and coming bands in the last few years. Some of the strongholds in this new wave of Middle American hardcore punk are the stalwart city of Austin, Northwest Indiana, St. Louis, Chicago, and Dallas.
Dallas' scene in particular has seen a great deal of growth. From just Power Trip, Wiccans, and Tolar, the scene has come to also include great bands like Sin Motivo, The Sentenced, and Slimy Member. One band you may not have heard is Smear. The band has been around for about a year but had not really found their legs until the last few months. The band is made up of Austin Carroll and Austin Waymire and newcomer drummer Keaton Khonsari. It was the addition of Khonsari that pushed the band over the top. What's beautiful about a band like Smear is that they're clearly in that phase where they're figuring out their identity but are mature enough to understand that they need to be their own band. On Smear's latest release Smeared the band juxtaposes two music styles to make sure audiences don't corral and dismissed. Musically, the band's sound can be likened to a lot of the current Midwestern weirdo bands. The music does have a lot more bite to it and this is thanks in no small part to Khonsari's strong drumwork. The vocals are reminiscent of the first wave of Boston hardcore. There's a lot of grounded anger in it.
Smear are only just getting started. Too often young kids want to make a band for the sake of making a band. They're not concerned with being original or having ambition to tour and release music. Smear are the antithesis of that. They refuse to be written off and will work hard to make sure that they won't be. They will be touring the east coast in January. Do not miss them.
Below is a link for their bandcamp where you can download Smeared free of charge