Smells Like Sour

SLS 18 Nominations

Queens of the Stone Age - 3's & 7's

Velvet Revolver - The Last Fight

Foo Fighters - Pretender

Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow

The Sunshine Underground - Commercial Breakdown

Linkin Park - Bleed It Out

Arcade Fire - No Cars Go

it dies today - sacred heart

illScarlett - Nothing Special

Interpol - The Heinrich Maneuver

Velvet Revolver - She Builds Quick Machines

Rise Against - Prayer Of The Refugee

Matthew Good - Born Losers


What the hell is Smells Like Sour? Smells Like Sour is a hypothetical compilation series of New Rock songs, with a new release every six months. Any resemblance or impression that it is a real music compilation that I produce and give out to my friends is purely coincidental.

July 3, 2007

Here's SLS17!

It is with great privilege and honour that I unveil to you the final song list for SLS17. We listened to hours and hours of new rock before deciding upon these 20 tracks. Without further ado, I give you SLS17.

1. The White Stripes - Icky Thump
2. Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running
3. Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye
4. Tokyo Polic Club - Nature of the Experiment
5. The Fratellis - Flathead
6. Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks
7. Queens of the Stone Age - Sick, Sick, Sick
8. Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm
9. Modest Mouse - Dashboard
10. Fallout Boy - This Ain't A Scene
11. The Shins - Phantom Limb
12. illScarlett - One-A
13. Sam Roberts - With A Bullet
14. Chris Cornell - Billy Jean
15. Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby
16. Linkin Park - What I've Done
17. Billy Talent - Fallen Leaves
18. Smashing Pumpkins - Tarantula
19. Incubus - Anna Molly
20. Alexisonfire - Boiled Frogs

posted at 1:26 PM EDT | Discussion (0)

June 30, 2007

SLS 17 is Coming Soon

Here's where we're at with SLS17...

I've come up with 20 solid tracks and they're now with Mark. Mark will either bless SLS17 or he'll counter offer with a modified playlist. Then, the negotiations begin.

This is very, very exciting, ain't it?

posted at 11:59 AM EDT | Discussion (0)

June 14, 2007

SLS17 is in Development

Holy crap, June is almost half over. That means SLS17 is almost due.

Mark and I were talking about SLS yesterday and we realized it will celebrate its ten year anniversary next year.

Here are the tunes that will get heavy consideration for SLS17.

  • Velvet Revolver - She Builds Quick Machines
  • Smashing Pumpkins - Tarantula
  • Chris Cornell - Billy Jean
  • Peter, Bjorn & John - Young Folks
  • Queens of the Stone Age - Sick, Sick, Sick
  • The White Stripes - Icky Thump
  • Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm
  • The Kooks - Naive
  • The Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby
  • Linkin Park - What I've Done
  • The Fratellis - Flathead
  • Arcade Fire - Keep The Car Running
  • Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment
  • Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye
  • The Shins - Phantom Limb
  • Sam Roberts - With A Bullet
  • Modest Mouse - Dashboard
  • Incubus - Anna Molly
  • The Tragically Hip - Lonely End of the Rink
  • Billy Talent - Fallen Leaves
  • illScarlett - OneA

It's not too late to submit a tune for consideration. This compilation is the 20 best new rock tunes from the previous six months, according to the esteemed SLS committee.

~ Toronto Mike

posted at 3:26 PM EDT | Discussion (0)

August 23, 2006

Humble Howard

SLS followers from the Greater Toronto Area will be familiar with the name Humble Howard. Humble and Fred were the morning guys on CFNY throughout the 90s. The guys behind SLS were big CFNY listeners, and by extension, fans of Humble and Fred.

Humble Howard was recently canned after 17 years on Toronto radio and he was nice enough to give me an interview. You can read it at

Humble and Fred... geeks that groove.

posted at 7:47 PM EDT | Discussion (0)

July 4, 2006

The New SLS Guide

Pop quiz, hot shot. What is SLS? If you don't know, you're new to these parts, and that's perfectly alright. This entry is going to bring you up to speed lickety-split. Consider this an updated sequel to the original SLS101 guide. We'll call this SLS 2.0. What does SLS stand for?SLS stands for Smells Like Sour. The phrase was coined before I got involved with SLS, but I hear it has something to do with a road trip, a Nirvana song and an aroma. What exactly is SLS?SLS is a "hypothetical" collection of new tunes that we "release" twice a calendar year. Henceforth, all editions of SLS will consist of 20 songs the SLS committee deems to be the best new music since the previous installment of SLS. We "release" new editions of SLS around Canada Day and Christmas Day. How did you get involved in SLS?A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I worked with this guy. It turned out we had similar taste in music, so he lent me a copy of the second installment of SLS. It was simply another mix of new rock tunes for the car and not intended to be much more than that. We began collaborating on the playlists of the next couple of installments, which were "released" periodically, at non-specific intervals. It occurred to me that we should normalize the "release" dates so that they were every six months. Independently we'd come up with our choices for the next edition, we'd meet up and we'd negotiate until we arrived at a consensus. Does SLS have a home on the web?Absolutely. There's the Smells Like Sour home page which I've been maintaining since September 16, 2003. From this page you can access the songs that have appeared on the previous installments and suggest a song for the next edition. It's also become a popular destination for those who wish to discuss the latest releases and such. Although we only went public with the SLS site a few years ago, we had been using the web as a way to track tunes we each thought was SLS worthy for a couple of years prior, only it was our little secret. What makes a song SLS-worthy? This is a tough question to answer. If a song is going to qualify as part of the best 80 minutes of music from the previous six months, it's gotta be good. We know an SLS-worthy tune when we hear it, but it's difficult to quantify. There's a spirit to an SLS tune that makes you want to turn it up and get lost in it's aura. System of a Down's "Chop Suey" was SLS-worthy. Simple Plan's "Perfect" was not. Who decides the final playlist for SLS? Anyone can submit a song for SLS consideration via the Smells Like Sour home page, but the final decision is made by Mark and I. Since I maintain the page and have my ear closer to the ground, I...

posted at 2:02 PM EDT | Discussion (0)

June 30, 2006

Deconstructing SLS15

Now that SLS15 is in the bag, it's time to deconstruct the 22 tunes that made the final cut. How much of SLS15 is CanCon? How many artists are making their first appearance on SLS? Find out the answers to these questions and more below. Canadian Content - 8 (The New Pornographers, Broken Social Scene, Billy Talent, Death From Above 1979, Metric, Wolf Parade, Elliott Brood & The Miniatures) Making Their SLS Debut - 11 (The New Pornographers, The Raconteurs, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Wolf Parade, Wolfmother, Gnarls Barkley, The Subways, Elliott Brood, Hard-Fi & The Miniatures) Artists That Also Appeared On SLS14 - 7 (Metric, Death Cab For Cutie, Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes, Death From Above 1979, System of a Down & Foo Fighters) Providing a Female Voice - 2 (Metric & Yeah Yeah Yeahs) Longest Current SLS Streak - 5 (Franz Ferdinand) Longest SLS Drought Ended - 6 (Pearl Jam) By the way, here's the cover of SLS15. If you want a high resolution one with the song list that's ripe for printing, go here. Yes, it was subconsciously Vs. inspired...

posted at 3:16 PM EDT | Discussion (0)

Smells Like Sour 15 Cover

Here is the cover for SLS 15:

I took this photo last week during my vacation to Peru.

posted at 2:26 PM EDT | Discussion (1)

SLS15 Unveiled

It is with great privilege and honour that I unveil to you the final song list for SLS15. We listened to hours and hours of new rock before deciding upon these 22 tracks totalling more than 75 minutes. Without further adieu, I give you SLS15.

  1. Use It - The New Pornographers
  2. 7/4 (Shoreline) - Broken Social Scene
  3. Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs
  4. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor - Arctic Monkeys
  5. Devil in a Midnight Mass - Billy Talent
  6. Banquet - Bloc Party
  7. Poster of a Girl - Metric
  8. Crooked Teeth - Death Cab For Cutie
  9. The Fallen - Franz Ferdinand
  10. I'll Believe In Anything - Wolf Parade
  11. Woman - Wolfmother
  12. Gold Lion - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  13. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
  14. The Strokes - You Only Live Once
  15. Rock and Roll Queen - The Subways
  16. Blood On Our Hands - Death From Above 1979
  17. The Bridge - Elliott Brood
  18. Cash Machine - Hard-Fi
  19. Dead Flowers - The Miniatures
  20. World Wide Suicide - Pearl Jam
  21. Lonely Day - System of a Down
  22. Miracle - Foo Fighters

Look for SLS16 in late December, 2006....

posted at 1:30 PM EDT | Discussion (1)

June 13, 2006

SLS Submission: You Only Live Once

I just submitted a tune for SLS15 consideration. I submitted "You Only Live Once" from The Strokes. I was itching to submit the B-side unheard, but that violates a cardinal SLS rule. No song can be submitted until it's actually listened to at least once. "You Only Live Once" is another great tune from The Strokes and it will fit SLS15 like a glove....

posted at 6:17 PM EDT | Discussion (0)

June 7, 2006

Counting Down to SLS15

I blinked and we were a week into June. How the hell did that happen? As you know, we finalize each edition of SLS at the end of June and December. That means we're only a couple of weeks away from releasing the final track listing for SLS15.

In the olden days, each edition of SLS was a hypothetical audio CD, and that meant we were limited to 80 minutes per edition. We're no longer technically married to such a cap, having moved away from audio CDs some time ago, but old habits die hard and we continue to respect this 80 minute constraint. If nothing else, it keeps us honest and prevents things from spiralling out of control. Here's how our 80 minutes of the best new rock of the last six months looks thus far.

  • I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor - Arctic Monkeys
  • Banquet - Bloc Party
  • 7/4 (Shoreline) - Broken Social Scene
  • Crooked Teeth - Death Cab For Cutie
  • Blood On Our Hands - Death From Above 1979
  • The Bridge - Elliott Brood
  • The Fallen - Franz Ferdinand
  • Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
  • Cash Machine - Hard-Fi
  • Poster of a Girl - Metric
  • Dead Flowers - The Miniatures
  • Use It - The New Pornographers
  • World Wide Suicide - Pearl Jam
  • Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs
  • Dani California - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Rock and Roll Queen - The Subways
  • Lonely Day - System of a Down
  • I'll Believe In Anything - Wolf Parade
  • Woman - Wolfmother
  • Gold Lion - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

There's still time to influence the outcome of SLS15 so submit a tune or comment on a previous submitted one. The SLS tradition continues.

posted at 12:15 PM EDT | Discussion (0)

June 4, 2006

SLS Submission: Crazy

I just submitted a tune for SLS15 consideration. I submitted "Crazy" from Gnarls Barkley. I'm trying not to make snap decisions these days. In the past, I'd hear a tune I totally dug and I'd submit it for SLS consideration that day. Now, I try and sit on it for bit, giving tunes multiple listens before making such a decision. After about 30 listens, I've decided "Crazy" is SLS worthy. It's different, funky and fun. There's room on SLS15 for different, funky and fun, right?...

posted at 8:22 PM EDT | Discussion (0)

May 29, 2006

SLS Submission: Woman

I just submitted a tune for SLS15 consideration. I submitted "Woman" from Wolfmother. This is precisely the kind of great tune that should appear on SLS. I've been digging it for weeks and weeks but I'm only now getting around to submitting it. You can actually hear "Mother" here....

posted at 12:14 PM EDT | Discussion (1)

May 12, 2006

The Great SLS X-Post Experiment

Henry David Thoreau was on to something when he said "simplify". Actually, he said it twice and it would have been more economical had he said it but once. Why double the effort if you don't have to? The same principles can be applied to SLS. We started the SLS blog a couple of years ago, but rarely do Mark or I actually write an entry. Having said that, I frequently write SLS-related entries on my personal blog. What if, when I write an SLS themed entry on my personal site, it automatically showed up on the SLS blog? That's the kind of simplification HDT was talking about! And so begins the great SLS cross posting experiment. If successful, this entry will appear simultaneously on both my personal site and Smells Like Sour. What an age we live in....

posted at 7:54 PM EDT | Discussion (1)

May 11, 2006

SLS Submission

I just submitted a tune for SLS15 consideration. I submitted "World Wide Suicide" from Pearl Jam. This is the new Pearl Jam single they gave away for free online. I wrote all about it here. If you want to decide for yourself if it's SLS-worthy, I'm more than happy to email an MP3 of the song to everyone who leaves a comment on that page....

posted at 8:39 PM EDT | Discussion (0)

January 2, 2006

SLS 14 Cover

Here is the cover for the recently released Smells Like Sour 14:

If you missed the track list, click here.

posted at 7:51 PM EDT | Discussion (0)


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