Born in Kansas and based in Chicago, Get Smart! plays simple, eager rock that rushes along busily, yet remains refreshingly distinct. Warm pop melodicism competes with punky bluntness and jagged noise tendencies on Action Reaction, creating a variety of stylistic voices within the plainly constructed guitar-bass-drums framework; harmony vocals add to the appeal.
Swimming With Sharks finds Get Smart! progressing along nicely. The trio speedily works its multifarious way through ten songs in various idioms, offering sketchy poetic lyrics along the way. They’re still rough around the edges — drummer Frank Loose gets stuck in patterns that limit songs’ appeal — and neither bassist Lisa Wertman nor guitarist Marc Koch is that great a singer, but workable ideas and cool sounds bubble up regularly enough to make Swimming With Sharks a safe and rewarding experience.