Close your eyes and imagine its 2005 Eduardo Martinez and Joe Klenner decided to record a few Smack and Fishfaces songs as a tribute to fallen frontman and underground legend Claude. Well, those few songs turned into an album full and then it was released on the Argentine label ‘Bourbon Records’. Buried and long out of print the good people at Alive & Kicking realised that a record this good shouldn’t stay buried so with a new track list and artwork they resurrected it and this is what I’m writing about today because like Alive & Kicking I agree this is just too good to be kicked to the long grass. You want cool rock and roll motherfuckers playing songs that are every bit as good as some of the offerings from fellow Finns Hanoi Rocks but like their compatriots, they didn’t get the breaks their talents deserved.
Claude was the frontman for Smack and The Fishfaces and whilst ten of the tracks are the most popular songs from the bands catalogue the last two were songs Fishfaces wrote that gave a possible glimp[se as to where the band was heading musically.
Eduardo was a big fan and was instrumental in Fishfaces recording their second album and as a tribute to three former smack and Fishfaces members all sadly passing on this is more than a fitting tribute to two great bands that burnt out way too soon but Labels like Alive & Kicking are making sure that these songs aren’t lost and flicker on into the future.
We’ll turn this record upside down and look at the final track a sprawling eight-plus minute monster with roots undertones Juha Metsola can be heard on his last ever session before his untimely passing as the jam plays on. One thing you know for sure this Flaming Sideburn and co pay the utmost respect to the legacy of two great bands with the likes of the sleazy ‘Skin Alley’ loud and large before the classic ‘Good Morning Headache’ is played with as much heart and soul as you could possibly muster.
‘Cemetery Walls’ is haunting and timeless as it builds to its raucous conclusion. ‘Through The Glass’ must have influenced many bands back in the day as the bass thuds the tempo is dark and menacing and the playing here is superb. I always loved ‘Roses Have Faded’ and ‘Machine Gun Stoneage’ proper rock n roll with acoustic guitars written and performed by lifers who knew what it was to rock and roll from the heart. Fishfaces and Smack were great and could have and should have but sadly didn’t with three members resting in peace their tragic story does have a silver lining – knowing that there are people out there who loved these songs so much is a fitting tribute. buy it and discover some of your new favourite old songs. Juha, Claude, and Saikki may you rest in peace – your music is being taken care of and Eduardo & The Thunderclouds I salute you for your sterling efforts. Rock and Roll!