Today Charlotte, NC-based act Expert Frowner aka Patrick Haynes releases its debut EP, No Smiles. Calling to mind everything from Oasis and Joy Division to more recent acts like Cloud Nothings, the record is an exploration of rock music fused together into a punk-power-pop sound. It’s an EP born of the extra time at home caused by the pandemic. Haynes recorded all the vocals, guitars and bass on No Smiles in Charlotte, with Miguel Vasquez (Echo Base) adding drums from Philadelphia. It was mixed by Steve Kelly (Sinking Ships Records) and mastered by Jon Markson (Drug Church, Soul Blind). Opener “Rookie of the Year” is a hook-laden track that gives an introduction to Haynes’ knack for writing thoughtful, guitar-driven material. “Last Chance” digs into a more jangly, pop-forward influence while “See You Again” is a fuzzed out number with somber lyrical content. The album ends with a cover of The Kinks’ “Death of a Clown,” which Haynes always wanted to hear distorted and loud, as if a ‘90s power-pop band wrote it instead of a ‘60s British-Invasion group. The self-release of No Smiles is intended to serve as a calling card to be followed by a full-length Expert Frowner LP in 2023.
Speaking on the album, Haynes stated:
“No Smiles ranges from fun, upbeat bops like ‘Last Chance’ to more personal songwriting, like on ‘See You Again,” touching on the death of a parent. All of my influences come together in these songs, ranging from Oasis to Cloud Nothings to the National. I’ve waited for forever to finally put out some songs and, now that they’re out, I can’t wait for people to hear them.”