The Smithereens Releasing Lost Album From 1993
New Jersey power-pop greats the Smithereens haven’t released an album since 2011 in 2011, and frontman Pat DiNizio died in 2017. But if new material from the band now seems unlikely, fans are about to be treated to something arguably more exciting: a whole previously unreleased album from 1993.
Next month, the Smithereens will release The Lost Album. As the band explains on Facebook, “In the fall of 1993, while they were in between contracts with Capitol and RCA, The Smithereens ventured into Crystal Sound Studios NYC to write and record a new album for their own label. The result of those one month marathon recording sessions is this album, unheard by the outside world until now and appropriately titled The Lost Album.”
Bassist Mike Mesaros has much more to say about the project:
The Lost Album has previously existed only as a sentimental “scrapbook” for Dennis, Pat, Jim and me. Mine was tucked away in a dusty shoebox with other cassettes—forsaken raw nuggets of outtakes, demos, rough mixes and silly chatter. Now, the inevitable turning of the clock and the tragic demise of friend and brother Pat has buffed and polished this collection of songs into emotional gold. The Lost Album remains only 80 percent finished and rough mixed. The feeling and style, however, are all there, outweighing any overdub or mix considerations. It is something new, yet vintage, emerging from its warm analog tomb into a cold digital world.
And so The Lost Album lives. Listen and float with us in between labels purgatory. Pat D. is in fine fettle and we are young, together and tight. Cigarette smoke fills the studio like a mainline from the NJ Turnpike. It’s good and loud. Even playbacks. Beer is swilled and laughs are had with Den’s impersonations ruling the roost. It’s our traditional and comfortable atmosphere for makin’ us a record.
‘Round midnight, we exit Crystal Sound Studio A and jaywalk over to Studio B — O’Flynn’s Saloon. In due time a cab is hailed and we head downtown to our village incubator, Kenny’s Castaways. We affectionately reckon with our uncle and mentor, Pat Kenny and invite the beloved man to a session. (He came). We’re jazzed about this project because, for the first time, we are producing ourselves and mum’s the word to the outside world. Somehow, it evokes the early days when we were our own best kept secret and a fan club of 4.
The next day our singer is AWOL. After Kenny’s we had followed the clarion call to Freddy’s, an extinct Little Italy speakeasy (Bud in cans or Smirnoff shots) run by our pal Sal where Pat was the jukebox Sinatra. By day it was a paper/tobacco stand/ soda fountain. Sal’s mama always had a big pot of sauce gurgling awaiting her cloud-like meatballs. The aroma permeated lower Manhattan to 6th Avenue.
As we three Carteret hangovers await the Scotch Plains boy’s arrival we are soothed by our ace engineer, pocket psychologist, and studio owner Larry Buxbaum. He supports us and believes in our project like an older brother with a bemused grin. Love and miss you Larry. Thanks.
The Lost Album showcases some of DiNizio and Babjak’s best writing and never better group empathy and collaboration. At this point we were really listening to each other and this was key in our individual styles meshing so well. A real band. We could be mean, sweet, joyful, or brooding. As need be. We still were in our prime — young, battle-scarred vets who were fluent in the lingua franca of rock ‘n roll but still not far removed from Jimmy’s garage and Pat’s basement. (We still aren’t.)
Out of a shoebox it came. New and vintage. Come back with us. Let’s Get Outa This World!”
The Lost Album is out 9/23 on Sunset Boulevard Records. Pre-order it here.