Hailing from the North Italian town of Rimini situated on the Adriatic sea and famous for its golden sands come a trio of punky – glam rockers called the Small Town Tigers I’d doubt they get played much around the Golden sandy beaches of their home town but that Rimini’s loss it would seem. So what do they sound like I hear you cry.

Well, They play straight-up punky Garage Rock and Roll and do it very well, it must be said. They’ve stripped it down to some real instruments of guitar, Bass and Drumsbut they throw in some great melodies and worked hard on just playing Rock and Roll they are the sum of their influences I’d wager just how you’d want them to sound – raw, alive and vibrant with attitude, snot and a shit kickin’ grin (at least I hope that’s how they go about their craft).

A lot of how they sound might be down to being fresh at the business or from naivety but they use those as qualities to fire up the tunes and certainly not criticisms.  Take ‘Girl’ and its simple guitar lick. Not to dissimilar to licks Poison Ivy made a living from and when that one finishes it crashes into the wonderful ‘Find Myself Another Name’ that is a rush of attitude that’s held together with some spit and dirt from the rumble on the bass that’s barely holding the drums to check and then the buzz saw guitar riff is churning behind the vocals that remind me of a hungry Joan Jett for sure and if that’s not enough to persuade you to go check em out I’d check for a pulse.

Imagine had The Runaways been listening to The Stooges rather than the radio and then ran through a couple of Ramones covers that’s where ‘Runaway Girl’ is hanging her hat. On offer here are eight tunes and primarily the lo-fi production is spot on for the genre and none more so than ‘Darling Please!’ with the sleazy backbeat and hypnotic riff that sounds like it’s bouncing off a concrete bunker wall but it only help to create the perfect tone for the song. The ladies keep things short and sweet and understand that the kid’s attention spans aren’t what they used to be and maybe as we get a little older we don’t have time to hang about but I’d make time to hang about if this were the soundtrack.  ‘I Want It Now’ is a glam slammin’ romper, sure its a foot on the wedge handclapping retro rocker and the chorus is easy – even for the most challenged listener but hold on don’t go anywhere ‘The Bitch’ takes a turn down a dark alley with a filthy sloppy riff that’s a switchblade away from falling apart as the guitar overheats due to the riff being so dirty.  what’s not to like? Its short and oh so sweet and as they sign off with the bruising thump of the title track it dawns on me shouldn’t it be called ‘Eight Things’? Anyway, ‘Five Things’ is suitably trashy in its delivery and I have a lot of time for that.  If you like Garage Rock and Roll or The Runaways meets the Stooges using The Cramps gear then what are you waiting for? but remember they don’t just steal from the bands I’ve referred to they’ve learned from them and given something back in return. This is a must-hear for you if you want zero fucks given, good time, Garage Rock and Roll –  get on it NOW! and as they say in the blurb – Turn It Up!

Buy ‘Five Things’ Here

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Author: Dom Daley

 

Well well well.  This is a blast from the past and pressed on a chunky piece of plastic as well it’s the 25th anniversary of ‘Retrosexual’ so what better way to celebrate than to stick it out fully remastered and on the old deluxe 180g black circle.  Very nice indeed.

Man, I’m feeling a little down holding this record in my hand thinking its been twenty-five years since this was originally released that is until I chuckle at the cover art in the form it was originally intended to be.  I never was concerned about the fact that there was a lady dead or alive underwater but what a ghastly jumper they’re  wearing is that wrong of me? Anyway, any blues I might have had quickly blew away once the needle dropped.

Firstly I notice there are no bells and whistles added or bonus tracks etc which is cool because ‘Retrosexual’ set the bar for Last Great Dreamers and to tinker with the original formula would have been wrong so I’m pleased with that. Secondly, remastering is like the Harry Potter of Rock and Roll acts sort of the dark arts it’s not like remixing its more than that.  Making a record sonically better for record over CD or fit for radio is a whole dark art and once the needle drops on ‘Chrome Tonic’ I’m taken back to a simpler time when rock and roll wasn’t so instant it was harder to find and you had to be in the club to get to know about the new bands and visit venues to catch support bands to see what was out there people seemed more committed to their cause and stumbling across this after reading a review wasn’t a disappointment at all.  The chorus and hook on ‘Chrome Tonic’ is still twenty-five years on such a rush and an instantly gratifying hook.  Bring it on.

I’ll fess up and admit the last time I played this record was when they released ’13 Floor Renegade’ to contrast and compare but I thoroughly enjoyed it then and I’ll admit now hearing the Acoustic vs Electric riff-a-rama on ‘Last Great Dreamer’ in all its trashy delivery is a beautiful thing.  What a tune! It drew from the ’70s glam through the mid-’80s Hanoi rocks years and beyond but it wasn’t just copying it was being inspired and inspiring and that’s the difference, top tune then and top tune now its lost none of its charm and class.

‘Save You’ was a bit tougher but mopped up what was a super strong opening three tracks. Some albums from years ago never live up to the memory I’m not on about your favourite albums that always stay with you but the ones that bubble under. ‘Paper Crown’ was always a beauty with its Bolan meets Bowie glamness with a welcome dose of Ian Hunter – this record should have been a popular hit that much is a tragedy.  I’m glad they are back and going strong and this wasn’t a one-off. They weren’t afraid to soften things like ‘Kings And Keepsakes’ alongside the out and out rockers like ‘Charlie’ and they could boogie-woogie as well like on ‘Only Crime’ and I always liked the Hanoi Rocks DNA that ran through ‘Streets Of Gold’.

Don’t take my word for it go and treat yourself and pick this one up on vinyl. If you’ve not heard it in a while then it’ll be a treat and if you’ve never heard the band then what are you waiting for?  Jump in ignore the tartan trews and platform boots they were never cool but the music is first class and ‘Retrosexual’ is the sound of a band living and loving it and pouring their heart and soul into the grooves of a great record, Buy it!

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Buy ‘Retrosexual’ 25th remastered edition Here

Author: Dom Daley

Fast-rising garage-punks SMALLTOWN TIGERS announce the release of their debut single, along with their first ever UK dates.

The band, from the east coast Italian city of Rimini, came together last year, cutting their teeth on the local squat scene before clinching the support slot on a tour with visiting New Yorkers Baby Shakes.

Working with noted blues-punk musician Stiv Cantarelli (Silent Strangers, J.D. Hangover, The A.C.C.) in the production chair, the girls laid down eight original songs, later having the tracks mastered for release by legendary Detroit producer Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Dirtbombs, Sonics).

Signing to one of Europe’s leading garage-punk labels Area Pirata, the trio – Valli (bass/vocals), Monty (guitar) and Serena (drums) – are set to release their debut mini-album in the New Year. It will be preceded, on Friday 27 September, by the digital single ‘Just Friends’.

Smalltown Tigers hit the UK in October for their first ever overseas dates, playing four gigs in three days, including an appearance at female punk collective Loud Women’s 4th Birthday Party at the Hope & Anchor in Islington. Full dates are…

Thurs 10 Oct – The Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea

Fri 11 Oct – The Shacklewell Arms, Dalston, London (Garageland Club)

Sat 12 Oct – The Hope & Anchor, Islington, London (Loud Women 4th Birthday – onstage 5pm)

Sat 12 Oct – Biddle Bros, Clapton, London (onstage 10pm)

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