Smash Fashion – Rompous Pompous

With a mere but rather tasty single in between, it has been a long wait for the successor to their highly enjoyable and highly praised third album Big Cat Love but finally US rockers Smash Fashion have unleashed its successor in the shape of Rompous Pompous and a devilishly mischievous and captivating proposition it is.

Eagerly anticipated, the album lives up to its excellent title with eleven slices of multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll which romp and stomp in a way only the La quartet can. As ever the band feeds on rich rock essences from across the decades; everything from fifties rock ‘n’ roll, sixties mod and psychedelia through to seventies punk/new wave aligned to eighties glam and hard rock going to flavour a sound just as spiced by subsequent years and modern enterprise. As its predecessor, Rompous Pompous is an adventurous and lustily fun stomp with the band but with even keener diversity and a sharper definition to its writing, performance, and character.

It opens up with Can’t Take You Anywhere and straight away a potent hook with something more than familiar to it keenly entices. It is just a lure though into the song’s own invention with the vocals of guitarist and band founder Roger Deering swiftly to the fore. Its classic rock breeding is littered with new wave and seventies pop rock flirtation, the tenacious rhythms of bassist Scarlet Rowe and drummer Reijo “Repo” Kauppila driving its boisterous stroll as lead guitarist Lloyd Stuart Casson weaves real temptation within the just as magnetic tease of keys.

It is a potent start to the release ensuring attention is firmly on board and equally strong as the following Soft As A Rock (Helium Head) takes its place with an air of Cheap Trick meets The Motors to it. Its infectiousness is swift and eager as hooks join grooves in casting a net of catchy enterprise around Deering’s ever alluring presence while within the album’s following title track the band pulls the listener in with a fifties rock ‘n’ roll nurtured saunter with a delicious B52’s-esque lilt to its blossoming revelry. The track is superb also hinting at the respective glam/art and hard rock of bands like Sparks and The Tubes as it caught ears and imagination.

Wolves Of Wonderland brings a blues flavouring with its steady hard rock canter next with not for the first time just a sniff of Queens Of The Stone Age to the melodic graining while Teenage Demon is a punk ‘n’ roll courting holler with a garage rock lining which swiftly had feet and neck muscles rocking. Again there is no missing a seventies/eighties seeded nature to the excellent track; a regular ingredient in the increasingly individual Smash Fashion sound.

Another putting a firm hand on best track honours is the Bolan-esque Proper Way To Eat A Muffin, its flirtatious almost salacious swing aligned to classic rock ‘n’ roll equipped with power pop boisterousness and lyrical devilment. Quickly and unerringly hitting the spot it had the body eagerly swinging before Runs In The Family adds further diversity to the release with its pop, punk and melodic rock collusion with a great resemblance to The Vapors to it. It too is one of the major highlights within Rompous Pompous closely matched by the Bowie kissed Tender Was The Hook, a song also embracing a sixties tone with a Hollies like scent to it.

Through the likes of the blues rock sprung Ugly Thugly and Gentle Hand with its slightly dirty melodic radiance around one irresistible hook, the album continued to light up ears even if neither song quite lived up to the heights of those before them. Nevertheless each left thorough enjoyment in their wake leaving the emotive balladry of Smiles & Daggers to bring the album to a fine close. Beginning with drama carrying piano with big shadow clad rhythms in close company, an entrance reminding of a certain Boomtown Rats classic, the song is a magnetic example of the more mature and bolder songwriting within the album. As all songs, deeper into its body you go more the different flavours and twists emerge to please and fascinate.

And that applies to Rompous Pompous as a whole, a release which gets you going from the off and just gets more intoxicating and infamous by the listen, much like Smash Fashion themselves.

Rompus Pompous is out now via Electric Pudding Recordings across most online stores.

 http://www.smashfashionmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/smashfashion

Pete RingMaster 14/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

MFC Chicken – Solid Gravy

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If their debut album Music for Chicken had feet and emotions exhausted from its unrelenting revelry and thrilling sounds then have paramedics on speed dial as its successor Solid Gravy is a much more voraciously devilish and creatively incendiary stomp. Created by UK band MFC Chicken, their new album just rampages through ears and passions like an insatiable cyclone of mischief and feverishly flavoured rock ‘n’ roll.

The seeds of the band began with Canadian Spencer Evoy who moved to London on what he called a pilgrimage to the recording studio of Joe Meek. The vocalist/saxophonist found himself on Holloway Road and seduced by the aroma of a fried chicken shop began busking to raise funds to feed his grumbling stomach. His sounds caught the attention of bassist Bret Bolton living above said shop who called out to the musician below. Their meeting and mutual interests led to the formation of MFC Chicken days later, its name coming from the now closed down establishment at the heart of their meeting. Enlisting guitarist/vocalist Alberto Zioli, keyboardist/vocalist Reverend Parsley, and drummer Ravi Low-Beer, the quintet and their blend of rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm ‘n’ blues, surf, and garage rock found an eager and voracious appetite around the city and further afield. Music for Chicken helped push that spotlight into a world-wide attention with the band constantly touring and feeding the globe their vivacious sounds. Now with bassist Fernando Terror recruited MFC Chicken has struck again not only in their unrelenting touring but with another exhilarating new album.

The Dirty Water Records released Solid Gravy sets off as it means to go on with Chicken ‘Bout You, teasing percussive coaxing playing around a devilish riff to instantly seduce attention and appetite. A spoken suggestiveness equally plays with ears and thoughts to help widen an already breaking smile, the band swiftly enticing the ladies with a winking narrative and the fiery flame of sax from Evoy matched by the delicious sonic lure of guitar. It is ‘merely’ the lead in to the album but already firing up the passions which the riveting Pocahontas enslaves further. The track roars as you would expect from the off, roguish chants setting the scene as a tribal stomp of forceful rhythms alongside acidic guitar enterprise crowd and dance around a spinal lure provided by the pulsating bass. The track does not arguably surprise with its rampant sound and resourcefulness but certainly sets a powerful wave of greed and satisfaction in motion.

(Get Outta The) DJ Booth blazes in ears next, its initial flame of guitar offering a Johnny Kidd and the Pirates like bait which the song relaxes into and strolls purposefully within from there on in. The song strides with a fifties gait DWC1072_highresunder a pungent web of sonic invention and punchy keys which catches the breath, a Little Richard and Jay Hawkins texture and spicing adding to the pleasure. Its potent presence is instantly matched by the outstanding Voodoo Chicken, its sixties garage rock rascality aflame with the ever scorching sax invention of Evoy, irresistible hooks, and a quite infectious air to its overall endeavour.

From one pinnacle on the album to another, one of the very best tracks on Solid Gravy comes in the thrilling shape of I’m Her Pet. Grinning with an open swagger and flirty attitude, the track bounces along with keen restraint whilst rhythms jab tauntingly and gruff vocals aligned to a spicy guitar roam and show their wares with skilled temptation. As with many of the songs there is a familiarity to it though as with most, it is undefined for the main as evidenced in the following flurry of Hot Friend. With melodic impishness thrusting its hips around like a girl gracing the dance floor of The Cavern Club back in the sixties, the instrumental flings its recognisable yet unique bait at the passions with little thought of subtlety or restraint.

Both the perky (Show Me The) Gravy, Baby with its animated sax and guitar sculpted culinary plea, and the virulently contagious Don’t Wanna Talk About Chicken with its juicy ribs of choice hooks and bass seducing, keep the album sizzling in thoughts and emotions, the second of the two especially tasty with its intermittent raucous flight of caustic rock ‘n’ roll around an irritatingly addictive chorus. Their inescapable tempting is soon backed up by the refreshing romp of Well Now, its Eddie Cochran/ Johnny Burnette touch another healthy variation to the voice of the album. It is as catchy as new velcro and a party for body and passions, one more song in the batch of fourteen impossible to avoid joining in with.

The surf fuelled premise of M.F. Sea Chicken washes spiritedly over senses next, its shimmering air and smouldering beauty within a fiery net of sonic persuasion and heavily suited rhythms pure toxic beauty merging the warmth of Jan & Dean with the warped causticity of The Ghastly Ones, and the twisted pop of The B52s. Its lingering instrumental prowess is soon lost though in the swing of Chicken Shack and the blues rapacity of Horseshit. The first is another incitement of rhythmic hips and flowing melodic frivolity led by a mischievous intent whilst the second of the two explores ears with a raw mix of Ray Charles and Fats Domino and a strong whisper of King Salami and the Cumberland 3.

The album comes to a close with firstly with the sultry rockabilly majesty of White Leather Boots and lastly the ridiculously captivating creative and lyrical devilment of Dirty Little Bitch, both tracks exceptional teases of fire bred sax invention and uncompromising hooks aligned to similarly unrelenting rhythmic enticement. Both also show the depth and expanse of the invention and sound of the band to leave lips licked and passions full.

As impressive as their debut was MFC Chicken have turned their charm, diablerie, and colourful sound into a much stronger and irresistible proposition with Solid Gravy, and still they leave you feeling hungry afterwards and not only for them.

Solid Gravy is available now via Dirty Water Records @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/store-2/#!/~/product/category=2749876&id=36716523

https://www.facebook.com/MFCChicken

9/10

RingMaster 30/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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