|Smalltown - 'XII' (Pirates Press Records)|
|Written by Dom Daley|
|Monday, 17 June 2013 04:00|
Having been on the Pirates Press radar for over a decade this collection of songs has been culled from a variety of places, such as unreleased covers and the previously released 'Read Between The Lines'. It's sort of a tip of the hat to bands like The Clash as well as the likes of Rancid and SLF and more commercially successful bands like Gaslight Anthem. Take 'Cancer' with its rousing gang vocal "Woah ohs" and skank. To be fair I find this collection very uplifting and bright, as tunes like 'I Gotta Go' will testify.
'Boiling Point' is a great flash of punk rock 'n' roll with a driving bass line and bouncing chorus. Combining the new material with the now out of stock 'Read Between the Lines' is a great idea for people to get acquainted to the more youthful 'Disconnected' and punchy title track.
The covers aren't so much tagged onto the end as a bit of a filler but nailed on in the shape of a blistering 'Radio Radio'. I'm really impressed with the attitude and songwriting of Smalltown because this record beats the hell out of Gaslight Anthem and their roots rock 'n' roll lite approach. There are glimpses of their peers here and there which is fine and dandy; songs like the strut and skank of 'Steal The Show' are mature beyond their years.
Sweden has thrown up another great band in the shape of Smalltown and I'd highly recommend you get your grubby mitts on a copy of this fine record.