After releasing their critically acclaimed sophomore album Sunshine & Technology, Melbourne’s own The Smith Street Band experienced some staggering highs, but also suffered some ghastly lows, and it’s both of these themes that are explored on their newest EP, the aptly titled Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams.

The title track directly addresses the horrific incident where Julien Rozenbergs from The Bennies was near-fatally stabbed at a Smith Street Band show, a moment that, according to frontman Wil Wagner, led the band to question what they were doing.

But fortunately for everyone, the band have triumphantly returned with a typically no-holds-barred and emotionally entrancing collection of five songs.

In a testament to Wagner’s songwriting prowess, he turns that awful event into an inspiring and ultimately life-affirming song, one that features the usual amount of fuzzy guitars and pounding drums.

The best moment of the song, however, comes with the quiet restrain near the song’s conclusion describing the events of that show, “When you said if I’m gonna die at least I died helping someone / That’s what you were thinking when you held together your arm”.

Wagner’s brutally honest and effortlessly relatable lyrics manage to transform a moment of mindless violence into an uplifting and thought-provoking message, with “I came so close to giving up / Why has my way of coping become a reason to spill blood”.

The punk and garage styled backing is wonderfully invigorating throughout, with it proving practically impossible to not at least nod your head along. This is the beauty of The Smith Street Band: they’re loud, in-your-face and energetic, but they’re also introspective, meaningful, and truly important.

‘Kids’ typifies these qualities; it’s bouncy, infectious, but then there’s that line that just punches you in the gut with emotion: “We’re just kids staring at the sun / And we don’t mean nothing to no-one”.

EP-closer ‘Self Control’ , also one of the strongest moments, is a melancholic, restrained, and brilliant track with brutally honest lyrics from Wagner once again. It slowly builds from its quiet beginnings to the gut-wrenching repeat of “I don’t think I could make anyone feel like this”, with each of the four band members full talents on display.

Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams proves, if we actually needed any more proof, that The Smith Street Band are one the best bands that this country has produced in recent years.

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