Saturday, 6 September 2014

SMASH Fashion - Big Cat Love


Easy tiger! Chunky upbeat glam-rock from LA.


As a Hull City fan I don't need much encouragement to show some big cat love. Though let's not mention the Tigers' poor first foray in the Europa league! (Oh I just did!) Anyhow I'm sure fellow Hull City fan Mick Ronson would have approved of Big Cat Love, the debut LP from Los Angeles glam-choppers Smash Fahion. It's an album that takes inspiration from that first wave of early '70s glam rock acts. There are shades of Ronson-era Bowie, early Queen, The Sweet, Mott The Hoople and a whole raft of lesser known junk shop glam bands.

There's a fair bit of this stuff around at the moment with Italian retro-glammers such as Giuda and Fab Waltz ploughing a similar furrow. Then there's Bath-based funsters Ulysses with their toungue-in-cheek take on mid 1970s pop-rock. Perhaps it's a legacy of the gap left by the demise of The Darkness's early promise, or maybe it's a result of musicians of a certain age reaching back to their formative musical influences. Whatever the reasons it certainly makes for great fun listening.

For all the '70s Brit-glam influences there's a distinctly transatlantic hue to the album,
not too surprising given that over time the band has been made up of ex-members of US bands Rock City Angels (Johnny Depp's old band no less), The Dils, along with Brit Nigel Mogg (ex-Quireboys and nephew of UFO's Phil Mogg) and Repo, drummer from Finnish band Smack. Unlike first wave glam-rock, the hand claps and stomps are kept to a minimum, replaced with a modern LA-rock sheen.

Like all the best glam there are enough moments of lyrical silliness, plenty good riffs and OTT guitar solos to keep the party going. Along with the glitter and and glam there's a healthy dose of power pop, LA sleaze-rock and even traces of hair-metal. Definitely one for the party animals out there.


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