REVIEW: “Smile of Tears” by Aisles

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Chilean progressive rock group, Aisles, is re-releasing their avant-garde standout, “Smile of Tears”. Dipped in melancholy and a sense of wonder, “Smile of Tears” swallows the listener whole with its churning pulses and atmospheric synthesizer. A cascading piano and outstanding vocals from new lead singer Israel Gil, “Smile of Tears” still maintains its solid foundation. Proving once again that music knows no borders, Aisles captures the soul of people trying to communicate that something is wrong on the inside, though it may not appear from the outside.

BANDCAMP: https://aisles.bandcamp.com/track/smile-of-tears-2020

It’s been alive, it’s been for so long, Gil sings, his voice slightly cracking with harmony. The faint boom, boom, boom computer pulse beats along his words. Break it down, now break it down, he continues. As the song expands, the shards of rhythmic light, and eventually a beautiful piano evoke a myriad of images and colors. The listener is left swimming in a mire of electronica and the mesmerizing poetic fusion. As much as you want to feel happy, this song has a vapor shroud hovering over it like an alien life form. Gil’s vocals — so accepting and so emotional are a beacon. As much as you commiserate with him, you also accept and try to squirm your way out of the bubble that is overtaking you. Gil, discovered by the band members on a musician app, took the helm after founding member, Sebastián Verga, stepped down in October 2018. The computer background is science-fiction-esque, but in all of its wonderment the light at the end of the tunnel is hope. It’s love. I think that’s what the piano, brighter and warmer, represents. No matter what, they seem to project, there is always hope. The other feeling I experienced while listening to “Smile of Tears” is a feeling of closeness with Gil’s voice. He makes you not feel like you’re off in a distance, that he’s intimate and could just be singing to you in a small room. It’s not that this song makes feel Closter phobic, it’s that the words and the music bedrock unveil more and more of your own soul. In a way, you’re forced to acknowledge things you didn’t think were bubbling under the surface. And then, there they are. You are phased into the wavelengths of the song.

As weird as this sounds, I think fans of the band BUSH will like this band. They don’t have the same hard rock tendencies, but Aisles, formed in 2001, leads the listener down uncharted waters with semblances of Gavin Rossdale’s penned hits. Aisles are an eclectic band, but based on lyrics alone, I think that there is a parallel.

Besides Gil, Aisles is comprised of Germán Vergara (guitar, producer and founder), Rodrigo Sepúlveda (guitar), Felipe Candia (drums), Juan Pablo Gaete (keyboards, synth) and Daniel Concha (bass). The band plans to have “Smile of Tears” on its 2021 album. Two years of searching has certainly paid off for Aisles — Gil is a great fit for a great song and it’s an impressive new beginning.

Colin Jordan

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Graduate: McNeese State University, Avid Beekeeper, Deep Sea Diver & Fisherman, Horrible Golfer

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