Some poor disillusioned souls will tell you that rock is dead. Those folks have clearly not been introduced to Rompus Pompous, the new album by Smash Fashion.
You don't have to listen to much of the opening track "Can't Take You Anywhere" to get the sense that this is a rock song that could just as easily have been recorded in the 70s. You definitely focus on the guitar - especially the solo - because it brings to mind bands like T. Rex. However, if you focus entirely on the guitar, you'll miss out on the bass line that provides a solid groove throughout the song.
If 70s rock is in your wheelhouse, you are going to love the title track, although something in the guitar is reminiscent of Bad Religion - at least in parts of the song. You definitely get drawn in by the rocking melody. Then while you're pumping your fist or moving your head, the lyrics start to seep in. "You light your cigars with burning cash. You dress like a Nazi. You're always busy waxing your mustache." You don't have to know who the subject is to realize that it's a pretty scathing critique.
"Teenage Demon" opens with a rapid-fire beat and a guitar part that would fit just as well in a song by MC5. From the first notes until the last, this song is a pure rocker that is sure to get you pumping your fist. It is the perfect tune for blaring from the windows of your dirty Plymouth Barracuda as you roll down the road of your choice.
The band really changes things up with final song "Smiles and Daggers". This song has a much slower tempo than the rest of the songs. There is something cinematic in the piano part of this song that recalls Queen. This one also has some incisive lyrics like "You're all smiles and daggers. You can kill with a kiss." As the song goes on, you hear some psychedelic influence in the chorus. The tempo and the volume pick up for the instrumental break. In fact, there is some real shredding to be heard in the instrumental break. Overall, the comparison to Queen is apt because this song has multiple layers and isn't structured like most rock songs.
This album is all you need to counter the argument that rock is dead. Smash Fashion has brought a healthy dose of 70s rock that will make you crank the volume so all your neighbors can hear this too. Rompus Pompous (Electric Pudding Records) will be available everywhere on July 6.