SMALLTOWN: The First Three Years: CD

Feb 28, 2008

I’ve reviewed this previously in bits and pieces from their four 7”s. This CD corrals all of their previous works and adds one new song, “The One.” This Swedish trio has the immaculate knack of polishing up the cues laid down, then abandoned, by Stiff Little Fingers and then reinspected by the likes of pre-Life Won’t Wait Rancid. What you get is ultra-catchy, smart and anthemic songs. To mark them as solely street punk would be too cheap of a branding, although I could understand if they get put under that umbrella. They’ve got tight yet fluid songwriting, the crisp attack and ultra bounce of early Jam, the blood-runs-freely, ringing energy of Cock Sparrer, and the teeth-clenching grit of a largely unknown band making great, rugged punk songs. There’s not a stinker in the dozen. This is a sleeper hit.

 –todd (Deranged/Snuffy Smile)