Bursting onto the Chicago punk scene in 1991, Smoking Popes built a relationship with their legion of fans by melding raw songs about bittersweet heartache with soaring melodies, power chords and infectious energy. From their early indie releases to their critically acclaimed major label albums, Smoking Popes developed a unique blend of buzzsaw guitars, caffeinated rhythms and heartfelt crooning vocals, combining the angst of punk with the smooth sophistication of Frank Sinatra, creating music both urgent and timeless, and influencing a generation of musicians in their wake.
These days, the Popes are tighter and more inspired than ever, having reunited with drummer Mike Felumlee, from the band's seminal recordings of the '90s. Lead singer Josh Caterer describes the reunion, "We've been fortunate to have some really great drummers over the years, they've all brought something unique to the band, but as soon as we started playing with Mike again, we felt like 'This is how it's supposed to be!' Mike is the one who helped create our sound in the first place. Having him back in the band brings a lot of energy and excitement to what we're doing."
That excitement is palpable on "Into The Agony", the first full-length Smoking Popes album featuring their original lineup since 1998's "The Party's Over." Brilliantly mixed by the legendary Jamie Woolford, "Into The Agony" is a poignant collection of sublimely crafted songs, passionately delivered by a band clearly at the top of their game. If this new album is any indication, Smoking Popes are far from done making waves.