Smalltown Tigers – Crush On You

Well, what a year it’s been. Italy’s number one all-woman punk power trio SMALLTOWN TIGERS finished 2022 on a high after opening for The Damned on their 1976 reunion tour at the personal invitation of the band themselves. It can be a thankless task going on at opening time, but they turned up, locked in and left with a lot of new fans and friends. First item on the agenda for 2023 was the recording of their first full-length album, the follow-up to 2020’s debut mini-album Five Things, which earned them plaudits across the globe from the likes of Classic Rock, Vive Le Rock, Maximum Rock’n’Roll and I-94 Bar, plus airplay from BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and Gideon Coe, The Undertones’ Mickey Bradley on BBC Radio Ulster and numerous others.
But before they could hit the studio, The Damned came calling again, inviting them to join their spring Eurotrek, which saw the three surfer-girls from Rimini playing for the first time to audiences in France, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland. Over Easter, Valli (vocals/bass), Monty (guitar) and Castel (drums) returned to L’Amor Mio Non Muore studio in the town of Forli to record with the same team who chaperoned Five Things, producer Stiv Cantarelli and engineer Robi Villa (both, incidentally of punk-blues duo J.D. Hangover – Forli’s answer to Suicide!). After three days’ toil, the ten tracks were mixed by Villa – “the best pair of ears in Emilia-Romagna” – before being sent once again to Detroit garage maven Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Dirtbombs, Von Bondies, etc) for mastering.

If some of the songs on Crush On You sound familiar, it’s because they’ve had plenty of time to roadtest them. Initially written remotely during the isolation of Covid, the girls began rehearsing and gigging them as soon as they were able, so songs like opener ‘Meet Me In The City’, ‘Monster’ and the title track (and first single) were totally match-fit by the time the band hit the stage of Hammersmith Apollo on the first date of the Damned tour.

“It’s just fascinating to watch these little compositions become real songs,” says Valli. “It’s like watching your kids grow up in a way, don’t you think? After a lot of work, hours and hours in the studio doing take after take until you get it right, listening to the same song a hundred times this work came to an end and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

But rather than delivering ‘more of the same’, Crush On You holds a few surprises. Let’s face it, they’ve had plenty of time to think about it. Now all you have to do is listen to it!



Side A

Meet Me In The City

Crush On You

In A Dream (With A Fool Like You)

Teddy Bear

I Want You

Side B



Dressed Right And Skinny


Killed Myself When I Was Young