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Smalltown Tigers - Five Things - LP

Smalltown Tigers - Five Things LP
(Following the success of their debut single/video 'Just Friends' last Autumn, Rimini punks SMALLTOWN TIGERS at last unveil their debut mini-album Five Things through happening garage-punk label Area Pirata Records)
Area Pirata 15.00

Following the success of their debut single/video 'Just Friends' last Autumn, Rimini punks SMALLTOWN TIGERS at last unveil their debut mini-album Five Things through happening garage-punk label Area Pirata Records.

Here's five things you need to know...

1. Hailing from Romagna, North/East of Italy, SMALLTOWN TIGERS cut their teeth playing Ramones songs at squats and beach parties, spreading their love for surfboards and punk rock antics. In 2019, Valli (bass, vocals) and Monty (guitar, vocals) went into the all-analogue L'AmorMioNonMuore studio in Forli with cult producer Stiv Cantarelli from blues-punk outcasts SC and The Silent Stranger to start laying down the basics of what it later became their first originals.

2. Back on the road, the trio earned their stripes sharing the stage with Seattle underground gods Steal Shit Do Drugs, good enough to scoop the support slot for NYC powerpop aces Baby Shakes on their Italian dates. Before a round of summer gigs with Italian proto punk godfathers Not Moving LTD and other crash-and-burn gigs on the scene, new drummer Castel came on board to turn Smalltown Tigers into one exciting rock'n'roll act.

3. The girls are already being talked up on the Euro garage-punk scene after their debut UK tour in London in October 2019, which saw them playing such legendary venues as The Hope & Anchor and Dalston's Shacklewell Arms, with fast-rising bands like The Speedways and The Menstrual Cramps and anarcho-punk legends Hagar The Womb, while the 'Just Friends' video received its world premiere from the UK's No.1 punk mag Vive Le Rock!

4. The 8-song Five Things is a powerful mix of punk rock roots and glam attitude. If you shake '76 Ramones and 78' B52's and pour them in Joan Jett's rock'n'roll glass before she was sucked up by the limelight, then you'll have a taste of how this record could sound. Recorded live in studio (apart from the vocals) with no overdubs and mixed by analogue master Roberto Villa on 2" tape, and mastered by Detroit garage-punk guru Jim Diamond, these eight songs testify that these girls are no Dolce Vita.

5. Now the cat's out of the bag and Smalltown Tigers are on the prowl. They're coming to a town near new. But watch out, these cats have teeth!


Guy Shankland - Original 10/04/2020

Be warned Italo-Punx Smalltown Tigers have just released one hell of an addictive mini-album. 'Five Things' bubbles with the Stooges kissing Nirvana riffs, spat out, harmonious and slurred vocals plus some sugar motoring fur brushed bass.
Opener 'Just Freinds' thunders from early to present day Punk with every related sub-genre in between getting squeezed into the Smalltown Tigers cage. Next up is the beach riff on 'Girl' which cuts 'n' surfs the Grunge waters with some prime time attitude. The songs fifties high school dance sound leads beautifully into the modern trash can racket and if the band were ever asked to play Arnolds they'd probably stick Fonz's head in the deep fat fryer. 'Raw Power' isn't so much copied, more gyrated against as 'Another Name' whisks some early Iggy into the mix before 'Runaway Gal' spins 'n' twirls in a beautifully distorted cacophony of noise. The happy days' soundtrack returns for the chorus corruption of 'Darling Please' while 'I Want It Now' stands by the record machine dripping in leather, smeared eyeliner as a tilted cowboy boot heel taps the jukebox. The Smalltown Tigers aren't reinventing the wheel more like dragging it to their own garage and patching it up with duct tape before blindly rolling it down the middle of the strip. 'The Bitch' has more fuzz than sesame street before album closer and title track 'Five Things' pounds the heart, head and senses into Smalltown Tigers submission.

grade: 9/10

Simonovitch - 24/04/2020

The Smalltown Tigers are three young Italian punk girls straight out of Rimini on a mission to infect the world with there brand of low-fi grunge punk and this 22-minute-long 8 song mini album is almost the bands manifesto or at the very least a calling card to get them out and playing loads of live shows as soon as that's possible again.

The album is produced by Stiv Canterelli from The Silent Strangers and is mainly recorded live in the studio without overdubs to keep it sounding good and raw.

The Mini-album opens with Just Friends, that was also the bands Debut single last year when they came over on the bands first UK tour, it's a great low-fi punk message to let someone know you are Just Friends that reminds me a good bit of the Voodoo Queens in it's rough around the edges grunge punk appeal and it has a chorus that you'll want to chant along too.

Girl has a cool simple guitar riff that they then tell us what they think of the particular Girl this full-throated song is about and it has a similar sort of sound to the Irish garage punk band September Girls.

Find Myself Another Name ups the energy levels and will get the mosh pit going as you slowly work out how much they have re-worked New Rose into an anthem to escaping and making your own life with a new name.

Runaway Girl is very similar to The Healthy Junkies Runaway Devil and that's no bad thing and it sounds like this Runaway Girl might be fleeing from the same sort of problems although I think in this case the Runaway girl is a bit older than 12 but not much and hopefully she doesn't suffer the fate of The healthy Junkies devil.

Darling Please! sounds a bit grungier and more like Pretty On The Inside era Hole but with lyrics that put it more in line with Maid Of Ace and could easily be played in more of Oi! Punk style than the one it currently borders on as they stand there ground.

I Want It Now well of course you do and with enough energy and if they are allowed to go out and tour this properly this has all the signs it could be a great fist pumping anthem.

The Bitch isn't about that Joan Collins film thankfully but is a bile ridden rant against a bitch that has done the Smalltown Tigers wrong and they are ready to reap their revenge in a good low-fi garage punk style.

Five Things lets you know that you might have Five things to think about but only one is really essential, you'll need to listen to this properly catchy punk song to figure out just what those Five Things are and then to decide if you need to share them with everyone on Facebook, I'm sure They wouldn't do anything that lame mind you.

Our rating: 7/10

All Ages Zine 01/05/2020

There's something about the raw, classic punk rock sound that hits you just right when you hear it. The combination of influences from 1960's rock-n-roll smashes into its unapologetic stance against the mainstream and keeps it walking its own rebellious path while giving us that specific punch we didn't know we needed. Since 2018, Italy's Smalltown Tigers has channeled those influences and poured them into their music. Following the success of "Just Friends," and riding the wave of their most current single "Five Things," the trio is now getting set to release their debut mini-album Five Things later this month (April 2020). With the 1-2 punch of "Five Things" and "Just Friends" kicking things off, we're instantly introduced to their lo-fi, garage punk sound that leans on crunchy guitars, riot grrrl inspired vocals, and brash, in-your face lyrics.
They perfectly bookend this beginning with the closing track "The Bitch," which brings a similar style to the album to close it out. But it's what's in between that gives us our full spectrum look at who Smalltown Tigers are overall. While they stay mostly in the garage punk pocket, they offer a lot of bending and stretching to the edges of that proverbial box. "Another Name" takes a page from the Sex Pistols handbook by giving us a snotty flare, they give us an irresistible clap along melody on the Joan Jett infused rocker "I Want It Now," shift into a vibey, 1960's surf inspired guitar on "Girl," and complete the puzzle with a the Bond-like, spy feel of "Darling Please."
Over only 8-songs, Smalltown Tigers gives us all the different pieces of who they are while still retaining their signature sound, but they also keep us guessing as to what will flow from our speakers when the next song plays.

The Ginger Quiff - neilho27 07/05/2020

In a time when all the reports and news coming out of the beautiful country of Italy (I've spent two of my best ever holidays there) is negative and tinged with sadness, I'm delighted to have something positive to report. That news is, Valli (Bass, Vocals), Monty (Guitar, Vocals) & Castel (Drums, Vocals), collectively known as Smalltown Tigers have released a mini album, Five Things. A release, in more ways than one, that is brimming with bold defiance.

&West started back in the mid seventies (there is perhaps a nod to them here on a track called Runaway Girl), add a bit Joey Ramone's swagger, and a slice of sneering Lydon attitude and you're part of the way there. If you then chuck in the edgy rawness and ire of the likes of Babes in Toyland/Bikini Kill and the rasping brusque vocals from frontwomen unafraid to speak their minds like Courtney Love and Brody Dalle, you're about there.

Raw, Guttural, Furious Glam Punk'n'Roll

Eight tracks (not Five) of raw, guttural, furious glam punk'n'roll with lashing of brashness and attitude. I defy you not to be pogoing along, these songs are a joy to behold. Fuck the whole world - I don't bloody care anymore...I need these tunes in my lockdown playlist. Time to let my, increasingly long, hair down...

From the infectious opening bars of the stonking Just Friends I'm putty in their hands. From then on in, I'm hooked. A bit of Pistols riffing in Girl, a hint of Devilgate Drive at the start of Find Myself Another Name. Cramps like tendencies in Darling Please! Spitting venom in The Bitch. Full on Ramones punk rock attack on Five Things. All that's missing is the 1,2,3,4 intro...What is not to love?

Dear Italy, as impressive as they are, you can keep yer Pavarotti's & Bocelli's, send us over more of this sort of stuff (and Giuda). Cheers, the GQ.

Don't sit back and wait for the lockdown to be over. Get this ordered now (the posties are among my favourite people just now) and make the most of your extra time getting to know Smalltown Tigers.

Dancing About - Dave Franklin 05/05/2020

Depending on how you view such things punk is either one of two things. Either it was a time and a place, a musical event that can be marked with a cross on the timeline of musical history, something that is now only accessed by the shockwaves it set in motion. Or it is an attitude, an approach, a swagger, perhaps even, if it isn't riding the hyperbole too hard to make such a statement, a way of life.

If it is the latter, and this is the side of things that I come down on, then Smalltown Tigersare punk as fuck! 'Scuse the language. Anyone who cuts their teeth playing Ramones songs at squat gigs, opened for the likes of Baby Shakes and The Menstrual Cramps and who sounds like The Ramones jamming with The B52's whilst working as Joan Jett's pick-up band, has nothing left to prove in those stakes.

What is great for a band so far removed, chronologically speaking that is, from the initial punk spark is that they carry all of the necessary influences which poured into the generic crucible in the first place, the New York version at least. Girl is that 60's girl group sound turned from sugar and spice and all things nice into riffs and wails and puppy-dogs' tails, Darling Please is the ghost of The Runaways strutting their stuff and the title track and opening salvo is the perfect reminder that punk was just the bastard offspring of rock and pop, the result of a drunken dalliance in a midnight back alley somewhere on the Lower East Side, an ill-judged fumble which both parties constantly try to deny ever happened.

I'm not going to be as dramatic as to say that Smalltown Tigers are re-inventing punk, but they are reminding us of where it came from. Forget year zero, Five Things is the sound of the few years prior to that, before there was a plan, if there was ever a plan, before there was a name for this new noise, before there was any semblance of a scene. No, it doesn't reinvent punk but it does help to steer it back on to its original course bit, the one it was on before the identikit mohican and bondage trouser clan took over.

Or for the more mathematical amongst you here is the above review expressed as a formula.

3 punks + 4 Chords + (5 Things / 8 songs) = One great album.

IPA Music UK- Gary Welford 01/05/2020

Smalltown Tigers are a three-piece all-girl garage-punk band from the Italian town of Rimini, and this is their debut mini-album.

Valli (bass, vocals) and Monty (guitar, vocals) got together in 2018 and cut their teeth playing Ramones songs at squats and beach parties.

After being joined by new drummer Castel in 2019, they hit the UK for the first time last October, playing with fast-rising bands The Speedways and The Menstrual Cramps and anarcho-punks Hagar The Womb.

Their debut single Just Friends was released at the back end of last year to rave reviews, and this eight-song mini-album is the follow-up.

If you like your punk served raw, with a big dash of glam, Smalltown Tigers might just be the best thing you've heard for a while.

Recorded mostly live in the studio to old-school analog tape, with no overdubs, they mix the grungey sound of The Runaways with the rock 'n' roll chops of Suzi Quatro, and the anger of riot grrrl bands like Bikini Kill.

After opening with the swashbuckling title track, which reminds me of The Donnas, we get the aforementioned single Just Friends, and I'm immediately taken by its lo-fi sound and attitude-filled vocals.

Girl, with its seductive riff and off-kilter backing ooohs, is even more alluring, and suddenly, three tracks in, I'm hooked. Find Myself Another Name has fuzzy guitar and a propulsive bassline which Johnny Thunders and Richard Hell would surely approve of, Runaway Gal's sleazy riff sounds inspired by Buzzcocks' Boredom, while the echoey surf guitar and driving bass of Darling Please owes more to US proto-punks like The Stooges than '70s UK pioneers.

I Want It Now adds handclaps and Strokes-like riffs, while closing track The Bitch brings home the realisation that it's probably not a good idea to get on this wrong side of this girl gang.

Sadly, the Tigers' scheduled May UK dates have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they hope to line up some new dates for the autumn, by which time they'll be raring to go.

Victoria Louise Peckham - Kiss n Make-Up UK 21/05/2020

�� What's Smalltown Tigers about?/ Where did the name come from?

A friend came up with it, for no particular reason.
We liked it & we thought that the name reflected who we are & where we come from.
We come from a small town in the north east of Italy, Rimini, so ...& why Tigers? Well, the tiger is a feline & we feel a bit like that.
Of course we could have chosen cats, but Smalltown Cats sounded weird for a non-rockabilly band.

�� What inspires you to play music?

The bands we listened to when we were kids & the dreams of living the life of our idols has been our main inspiration & the leading force that brought us here.
But what keeps us going is the adrenaline of the stage. It's the desire to play always & everywhere. That's our true passion.

�� What's your writing process?

It's some kind of a random thing.
Sometimes we find ourselves whistling a melody in our car - the Tigermobile! - and that same melody becomes a song in the rehearsal room.
Other times we just start from a text, a message never sent, something written in a moment of anger that any of us would need to become a song just for the sake of shouting it in the face of someone.
Mood & circumstances are usually very important.

�� Who are your main influences in music/life?

Our influences have changed over time. Of course, our main influence are The Ramones.
They not only shaped the way we play music but also the way we dress. Apart from them, we love anything punk rock from the 70's to these days.
Regarding life, I guess we have different things that inspire us but the one thing that's common for all three of us is reading. Books, all books, all kinds of them. Whether they talk about music, poetry or essays.

�� Tell us about your aesthetic!

We love our black leather jackets!
We actually like colours as well, but we always end up wearing a black look. You know, you can't go wrong with black.

�� How would you sum "punk rock"?

Loud, fast, wild & cocky.

�� When you're not doing band stuff what do you get up to?

Living with our music today is really hard, especially here in Italy & now, in this situation.
We all have day jobs that allows us to pay our bills. Apart from that we all go to the beach. Growing up in a coastal town, we love beaches.
Then in the time we have left we have many hobbies. Some of us love sports, some painting, but we all love to read & cook.

�� You guys have had an amazing year touring & playing with some great bands, what's been the highlights?

Last year has been a great year!
As newly formed, in March 2019 we did a mini-tour as opening band with Baby Shakes from New York & it's been amazing. Those girls are so cool, we learned so much from them that we couldn't thank them enough.
In October, we played in England for the first time, & for the first time we travelled in London not just as tourists but also as musicians.
We all love London & really felt the spirit of punk music history over there, it's been a blast to play in places like The Hope & Anchor knowing that we would step the same stage as rock'n'roll royalty.
We met so many people we never met before, or we just knew on social media. It put us in the perfect frame of mind for the gigs.
Performing & connecting with these people, it's been amazing. There's so many highlights that to list all of them would turn this interview into a novel but ... before our first gig ever in London we lost a bag in a pub with all our passports & credit cards inside that would have turned the whole week into a mess! Luckily we came back to the same place after a few hours & find our bag untouched. That's what rock'n'roll is about.

�� What does feminism mean to you? / What 1 thing could everyone be doing to make the scene a better place?

As you know, there are three of us, so if we each look deep inside ourselves, each of us can have different opinions about feminism that come from our individual ideas & experiences.
As an all-female band, & as friends, we've discussed & challenged each other on this topic & many others. Generally speaking, when we were younger we had a more radical view of feminism. But as we gained more life experience, some of our rebellious & less refined positions grew clearer, based on knowledge, as opposed to just pure passion.
We feel that women & all people should have the freedom to express themselves by following their own instincts, morals & beliefs. Women also have to have equal rights in the workplace & should feel safe from sexual harassment & discrimination.
We're way past the time when women should be criticized about how they dress or their hair style at work. We also feel that when women prove that they can do a good job that they should get the same pay as men. Sadly, there are still a lot of problems when it comes to true equality.
As for what everyone could do about it, perhaps the first thing is to recognize that the problem of sexism still exists. We see it in marketing, advertising, pop culture, music lyrics, videos ... everywhere. This has to change.
We also think that it can help if girls are empowered when they are young. They don't have to accept sexism & can fight back. When there is an injustice, they should be encouraged to say something!
When someone tells you that girls should be wives & not rock'n'rollers, you should tell them to fuck off.
As a rule, we say be open to discuss these issues & support other women fighting the fight. As women, we need to continue to show men that we are equal. When Smalltown Tigers are onstage, we are not just women, we are rock musicians & we will kick ass just like men.

�� Tell us about your last release - what's the feeling to it/what's it about?

'Five Things', our first mini album, came out on April 24th. It's a record about different moments in your life, when things don't go exactly the way you have imagined them to do.
The whole mini-album is a collection of powerful rather melodic songs. It's alive, loud, fast & powerful. That's what Smalltown Tigers are about.
We like that little bit of anger just to make sure that everyone would understand the nature of the band. We like to play fast & we'll be out there to prove it. Can't wait for new year to come & (hopefully) hit the road again.

�� What's next for you guys?

At the moment, our new video of the album's title track 'Five Things' just came out & you could find it at link here.
Other than that, another single & another video will be issued pretty soon. We know this is our first record but we're very proud of it & we want to keep it running as much as we can.
As for the future, I guess that this pandemic situation will allow us to take some extra time off working & playing, enabling us to work at some new songs, a thing we already started doing before we've been forced to isolation.

�� Five Things has a lot of bite & real grit to it - how did it come about?

First, we would like to pay our dues to Joan Jett & Suzi Quatro.
It's been an honour to be compared to them, as they defined the role of the female bandleader during the '70s where rock'n'roll was mainly ruled by men. Along with The Ramones, they have been vital for what we do.
As for our sound, it's true that it's a sum of what's been played on our stereos since we were kids that we brought into the recording room along with the live experience. We recorded the whole album at L'AmorMioNonMuore studio in Forli, Italy. It's an all analog studio, where they use reel-to-reel recorders & an old '70s mixing desk. No computer tricks, just a bunch of tube amplifiers.
The whole process took really a few hours: we didn't want to stack too many layers of sound in it just to make it sound bigger. Our goal was to create a raw & unfiltered sound, & I think that with the help of our producer Stiv Cantarelli & the mighty Jim Diamond, who crafted records for The White Stripes & Dirtbombs & made the final cut - we succeeded.

�� Dates for any upcoming shows/livestreams/releases etc?

We were due to make an England comeback in May for a record release tour, but that's been cancelled because of the world situation. All the tour dates have been postponed to November & we really hope it could happen.
We are still optimistic that when this crisis will end we could be able to tour extensively & bring 'Five Things' to the stage anywhere in Europe they would want to have us!
About livestreams - for now the rules of lockdown over here in Italy don't allow us to meet so it's temporary undoable, but we're already setting up the stage for doing it as soon as the rules will be loosened & allow us to be all together in the same room.
So please stay tuned on our social media channels & we'll update this very soon ��

�� How does the punk scene differ between London & Rimini? Or the UK & Italy?

As opposed to what many people may think, Rimini has always had a lively club scene since the '80s. Although everything has changed since those days as most of the clubs where the action was have closed down.
Today most of the clubs only want tribute bands to play because it means easy money for them. But there's still a whole underground scene going on around squats & private spaces where you could organize a party & see the best local bands play.
Despite this, nothing beats the UK when it comes to a live music scene! As said before, you could really feel you're walking around the places where history has been made.
I know it's more difficult to find your own spot & grow your following as there's so many good bands out there, but we guess that in the end it's all about the music.
Also, English fans seem to be more interested about new music & prepared when it comes to go out & enjoy it. We know sometimes they can be a bit more rowdy, but we rather choose that over indifference & apathy that seems to rule in most of any other places including Italy.

We love a roaring crowd, it turn us into tigers. Smalltown Tigers. ��

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