"They swagger, they croon about 'the kiss of love,' and they are really good," the Maroon wrote in April, in an upbeat concert review that came out four months before NME's endorsement, which placed the Smith Westerns just behind too-cool kids Sleigh Bells (#4) and Best Coast (#1).
Put perhaps more succinctly and intelligently, but definitely also belatedly: "Their debut album is a raucous, uninhibited romp of a record that is run through with the energy of youthful abandon and bored callous rebellion," NME said.
The Maroon's foresighted review did receive some negative feedback from the campus community that helpfully pointed out the Smith Westerns' ties to the U of C (having played at Summer Breeze before, and apparently other gigs), but as the Smith Dubs (as they are affectionately called, maybe) have not indicated anything to the contrary, one can pretty safely assume they took the campus newspaper's constructive criticism to heart, earning the Dubs their place on the decreasingly-relevant music magazine's half-year list.
UPDATE: Srsly tho, kidding.
UPDATE, THE SECOND: An early interview with the then high-school aged band, as referenced by commenter 11 (Thanks 11!). Note that their mainstream recognition did not come until after the Maroon covered them. Coincidence? I think not! Wait no I think it is a coincidence. Obvs.