Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Smash Alley-Too late to say no, 2007

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I may regret using images now because you may look at this cover and go "boy, I'll bet that's a piece of crap". However don't be fooled by the cover in this case. Chicago's Smash Alley were apparently first active between 1987 and 1993. They built up a local following, but never achieved a record deal and the coming of grunge probably did not help their cause either. Well, now they are back and they have signed a deal with Kivel Records. My understanding is this is a new recording, but I am unsure as to if the songs were written back then or now. Whatever the deal is, it's pretty solid hard rock that sounds like it could have been done between say 1987 and 1990. A lot of different sounds overall on these thirteen tracks. The first one that leaps out me is late 80's Aerosmith, maybe followed by a touch of David Lee Roth's solo material and a dash of early LA Guns. For the most part the tracks here are catchy with sharp hooks and nice production values for an indie release. I have given it maybe six plays and it has gotten better to my ears after each spin. The greatest thing is that is a fun album. Boy, I miss those albums some times. The serious stuff is cool at times, but it's cool just listen to something that's just fun and that's all. It adds a kind of balance to things. Anyway, my only big complaint is that upon my first listen I thought vocalist Paul Messina was lacking some range. After repeated listens I think he sounds just fine on the rockin songs, but he doesn't quite handle the two ballads as well as maybe he should. They may have been better off skipping those songs. I am will probably listening to this one for a while. Oh, the year listed above is no mistake. Even though some sites say this came out on the last day of November and I got my copy around December 10th, the case still says 2007 so that's what I am going by.

15 Comments:

Blogger Andre du Plessis said...

I'll be looking out for this now thanks.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually like the cover of that album but it's probably because the chick looks like Catwoman (Julie Newmar).

4:19 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Never even heard of it. It looks very late 80s. Actually, it kind of reminds me of the Danger Danger cover. Thanks for the tip!

-- david

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss just plain fun stuff. Look forward to hearing it.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They don't ring a bell with me...I have the song Smash Alley stuck in my head...I think that was Faster Pussycat. Cool cover though!

5:06 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Andre-I hope you enjoy if decide to get it.

Captain Corky- That may be.

David-Possibly, but the music is way better than Danger Danger.

On my watch-There should still be room for that kind of music.

Rockdog- Smash Alley was a song off the first Faster Pussycat album.

8:37 PM  
Anonymous fred charles said...

That cover looks a whole lot like a take on Dio's Holy Diver. It must be intentional. It's a truly terrible cover lol. I hate it when bands that are good use bad artwork. It just takes away from their legitimacy.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Fred-I thought about Dio when I saw the cover as well. It's weird that these guys or their label chose this cover. It would have been cheesey in 1990, but even more so now.

7:41 AM  
Blogger DPTH International said...

They could be going for the campy retro feel ala The Darkness. I'm a sucker for cheesy album artwork. Great conversation pieces!

I'll have to give'em a listen.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

dpth-There are more pictures of the characters on the front inside the booklet in different poses.

1:44 PM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

I really liked the cover.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to laugh, just happened to google Smash Alley and something comes up. I had seen this band a few times back in '88 or so at a club just west of Chicago called "The Thirsty Whale" (unfortunatly it's a CVS pharmacy now). These guys put on a great show back then and I'm sure the still rock. I'll keep an eye open and if I see them doing a local gig I'll check it out. Long live 80's metal!

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

smash alley was one of the best rock bands around in the chicago area.ther were plenty of women,and the songs are great.now tyler bates haved moved on to the movies,scoring the sounds to many new movies,like 300,watchmen.the past guitarist is up there now.but i miss hanging arond with them back in chiacgo.when music was music.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw these guys a bunch of times in the early 90s. They were great. Brings me back to my weekends at the Thirsty Whale!

7:30 PM  
Blogger Mikayla messina said...

Those are all old songs that were song a while ago but the album was only put together in 2007 thats why it says 2007. But those were the original recordings of them

10:14 PM  

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