Unlike traditional biographies or oral histories, Smash! seems pieced together from various viewpoints and timelines. This makes following the text a little difficult for readers, as a chronological order of events is largely abandoned in favor of spiking interest or proving a point ... the author, in a way befitting of a music journalist, has strong opinions about what songs and albums are better than others and states these biases as if they were proven facts ... has many faults ... perhaps it's best to describe this book as more of a patchwork quilt of sorts, with good bits here and there and some pointless filler leading to an abrupt ending. Ironically, that makes the book itself very punk.
Some may find the author’s limited scope of bands disconcerting in that other bands may not have hit it as big but were no less influential. Some readers may wish for a more intimate perspective, but Winwood does cover the music and its context and fans with great reverence as he captures this exuberant time in the history of punk music.
Straightforward ... Winword writes with authoritative enthusiasm ...Focusing on the personalities behind these epochal bands, the author stays more on the surface than other recent assessments, but his knowing humor will appeal to younger fans and those who were there ... A savvy reminiscence of the era when punk finally paid its debt to society.