We recently had a whisper in the ears suggesting that “We have a cracking release for you.” The tip came from long-time friend Garry from SaN PR and the encounter in question was the self-titled debut album from UK rockers SMALL TOWN SAVIOURS. On the digital ‘turntable’ it went and a single digit keenly went down on play. It has to be said that Garry is rather shrewd when it comes to artists and recommendations but in this case…
Quite simply his words, even with their open keenness, underplayed the impact and pleasure we found from the record. It is a 13-song punch of high octane punk ‘n’ roll incitement with a grin to its attack and mischief to its enterprise; a slab of sleaze rock honed with the intent to get under the skin and arouse the rebel within.
SMALL TOWN SAVIOURS are said to draw on the inspirations of bands such as THE RAMONES, GUNS N ROSES, GREEN DAY, and KISS and indeed it is a proposal which recalls such influence if maybe more the eras of those artists rather than their individual sounds but one quickly springing its own devilish individuality within each and every song. Emerging in 2019, the quartet has earned a potent live reputation as they have persistently travelled up and down the UK, before and after time lost to the Pandemic. Now they are ready to arouse a bigger landscape of ears and attention, and thanks to their first full-length we are expecting nothing less than widespread submission.
The album simply bursts from the speakers with opener No Rats, No Snakes, No Second Takes. Instantly, pugilistic rhythms are to the fore as guitars swing their lures across the assault before just as quickly the track hits its vigorous stroll. The guitars of Skinny Pete and vocalist Lance Skybaby lay down grooved incitement around the rhythmic harassment of bassist T. Bone and drummer Carl D as its infectious gait rolls on with Skybaby’s vocals similarly sharing a mix of challenge and participation invitation as rock, punk and metal essences entangled within the track’s fiery body.
It is an explosive and involvement orchestrating start which E.N.E.M.Y echoes with its pedal to the metal surge. Whiffs of country and blues punk light the air initially, continually to lightly flavour the bruising incitement of rock ‘n’ roll. As its predecessor, it left us grinning from breathless bodies, already the band’s multi-flavoured sound courting the imagination and with richer tempting as The Drinking Song nagged and bullied with its old school punk rock shenanigans. It is a track akin to a mix of EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS and BULLETS AND OCTANE and soon emerging a thick addiction.
Cry is next and leans back to the sixties hued pop punk times of THE RAMONES but again SMALL TOWN SAVIOURS cast it with their hungry individuality, the song a moment of swinging virulence while London Ain’t Calling breeds, unsurprisingly , a ’77 punk proposal with its own line in esurient catchiness. Both tracks are hook barbed pleasures, the latter with a great lining of irritability to its breath which Home Town Hero embraces in its pop punk/hard rock kilned saunter; using it to spring another greedy line in fiery virulence.
Country rock and punk merge to colour next up Translation Invariant; it too with confrontation in its voice, thoughts and touch yet a track proving greedily catchy within its menace shaped stroll. With the warmth of keys, heat of guitar melodies and glimpses of mania, the track epitomised the great unpredictability and invention of the band’s sound to leave any expectations floundering, something the absorbing It’s All Going To Hell swiftly echoes with its rock/punk dissension. There is an essence of turbulence and turmoil to its presence to echo its lyrical observation and contemplation yet tempestuousness which also brings tenebrific calms and atmospheric shadows.
As Ride It Out grips ears with its tetchy rhythmic shuffle and melodic canter and Drama Queens bundles in with muscular energy and hard rock trespass, there was no chance of having attention snatched away. In fact, the second of the two with its subsequent punk rock hollering and energy only drew us into greater involvement; it’s UK SUBS/ZEBRAHEAD infused stomping proving irresistible as too the slamming punk rock of Boy Who Cried Wolf, another our throats could not ignore.
The final pair of Wild West (Berkshire) with its country punk shimmers and cowpoke gallops and new single Moving On ensured the release ended as firmly in control of ears as it began. The last track is bitch slap of hard rock and punk rock carousing, a spirit encouraging incitement in sound and word which had the album and body bouncing in unison.
And that is Small Town Saviours, a band and album which left us roaring heartily and urgently pressing play the moment its last breath passed by; proving instinctive rock ‘n’ roll still rules the roost.
The Small Town Saviours album is out now.
https://www.facebook.com/smalltownsaviours https://www.instagram.com/smalltownsaviours / https://open.spotify.com/artist/3WKUGyKqDtDogOKxksdxyR
Pete RingMaster 30/01/2023
Copyright RingMaster Review
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