Los Angeles based Smash Fashion return with their fourth album Rompus Pompous the follow up to 2014’s long player Big Cat Love.
Roger Deering and his self-proclaimed rock dandies hit you with 11 pop-rock punches and unwillingly drag you kicking and screaming to a bygone era of Bolan, Bowie and big sounds…and it’s only when you finally get there that you remember why it was so enjoyable in the first place and decide to stay a while.
Rompus Pompous opens with stomper Can’t Take You Anywhere, the song acts as a musical see-saw preventing you from sitting still but you can tell the lads are having a blast and that it would be easy to slide into a Glam Rock parody but they play it straighter than Dave Hill’s fringe and come up with a very worthy album curtain raiser. Title Track Rompus Pompous has a 1972 “dance off” between Aerosmith and Roxy Music, synth effects and riffs are intertwined with tight harmonies and show off the bands musical capabilities to the full.
By the time we get to Proper Way to Eat a Muffin the band has fully encapsulated their inner Bolan. Pan’s People (Top of the Pop’s reference for those at the back scratching their heads) would not look out of place dancing along to this euphemism laden track, It’s pure glitter pop and proud of it. Tender was the hook brings a Pete Townshend flavoured country love song and probably the least retro tasting song on the album but it flows beautifully and shows us the album has a sad guest at the party, Smash Fashion won’t allow us to feel melancholy for long though as by the time the penultimate track Gentle Hand cranks up we are dancing again.
Album closer Smiles & Daggers reminds us (if we didn’t already know) of the musical diversity of Smash Fashion, over six and a half minutes in length that evokes memories of November Rain and lustful piano chords reminiscent of a Jim Steinman power ballad, it’s a polished production which ends the album on a high note. Smash Fashion will undoubtedly remind you that rock ‘n’ roll is not 6 feet under, it was always here…you were just searching in the wrong places.
Smash Fashion – Rompus Pompous Out now.