crush on youCrush On You – Smalltown Tigers (Area Pirata)

You like guitars, all-girl bands and anthems? Smalltown Tigers are The Donnas without major hype or The Runaways with songs. That’s 99 percent of what you need to know, right there. What’s not to like about the debut album by this Italian rock trio?

Italian bands? I’ve heard some shitty ones. Likes lot of Europe, rock and roll struggles to retain a grip on audiences in Italy, and the cookie cutter approach abounds, not to mention some uninspired DIY production. Many Italian bands don’t and can’t rock.  

Contrastingly, Smalltown Tigers have songs, energy, pop hooks and recorded this and their EP under the production gaze of accomplished blues-rocker Stiv Cantarelli. A win-win situation.

In an era where everybody has access to a virtual studio and can record within days of forming, Smalltown Tigers have gone down the time-honoured path of honing their music in front of audiences. As old-fashioned as it sounds, you can hear it in the songs.

“Meet Me In The City” is an urgent, straight-up rocker with a minor chord melody that’s instantly memorable. Bassist Valli knows how to deliver a vocal. Drummer Castel keeps it anchored without embellishment. Monty’s economic guitar takes it out.  

“Crush On You” is singalong simplicity. “Joey” is pogo-able clever-dumb pop punk. “In A Dream (With a Fool Like You)” is the clincher, a mid-tempo and tough, hip-shaking pop gem that will have you in its clutches by the time it gets to the “like you” exclamation mark.

Lyrically, there are no dissertation about geopolitics, climate or even the time of day. It’s classic love you/hate you/obsessed with you/the me stuff, like “I Want You”:

I need you through my bones, I need you through my veins
I need you like a flower needs every drop of rain
I miss you when you're here, I miss you when you're not
I miss you when you're giving me everything you got

“Killed Myself When I was Young”, a treatise about teenage depression, might be the exception to the above rule, and has the slightest whiff of art rock about it. The Ramones-eque (“Halfway To Sanity” era) “Monster” is exactly what it claims to be, i.e. a monster. Once you’ve done that, cock an ear to the raw guitars on “Teddy Bear” for a dose of gritty garage greatness.

This one’s on vinyl, limited run CD and digital and (yet again) the great thing is that Bandcamp lets you hear it for yourself before you buy in case you disagree with all of the above. If you do,: “Sei un deficient”. 


Buy it