These Tigers aren't for caging
Five Things - Smalltown Tigers (Area Pirata Records)
There’s nothing new in rock and roll. The same goes for punk rock. So get over it. Reinvention has always been a constant and the trick to being good at the caper is adding as your own unique ingredient.
“Five Things” is eight songs from three Italian girls calling themselves Smalltown Tigers. They come from Romagna in the country's north-east, cut their teeth playing Ramones songs at squats and beach parties and went into a studio in 2019, under the production hand of Stiv Cantarelli.
They're only been around a couple of years but you wouldn't know it. With a single in the racks before this, "Five Things" swaggers with confidence and loads of energy. It would be politically incorrect to say the girls have good looks on their side as well, so we won't. Image counts for much in rock and roll.
Valli (bass, vocals), Monty (guitar, vocals) and newcomer Castel (drums, vocals) have their own “special thing” and it’s not immediately easy to draw a bead on it. The guitar buzzes with distortion and the vocals are ragged but faintly sweet. The tempos are this side of fast, but the songs are strong, with harmonies buried under the surface.
There’s an obvious Runaways edge - most evident in the snarling “I Want It Now” which sounds more Joan Jett than Cherie Currie. In fact, the sound of "Five Things" would sit nicely alongside Joanie's "Bad Reputation". Did we mention that the ubiquitous Jim Diamond mastered it? Or that Joan Jett solo shits all over most of the Runaways stuff? Change my mind.
Influences? All of the above and more. They're all obvious but the gals bring their own surly yet sweet delivery. “Girl” has a warm Buzzcocks feel, “Runaway Girl” a surf touch and “Darling Please” references Ivy and the Cramps, ever so slightly. In short, there's a lot to like and you should get your ears over to the Tigresses' label Bandcamp right now to judge for yourself. While ever Joe Exotic's arse rots in a jail cell, Carol Baskin, they are not.