Some of the latest snippets of praise for Big Cat Love and SMASH Fashion

"riotous rousing retro rock.. A smorgasbord of wild riffs, hot breath harmonies, and meaty melodies... A collection of killer tunes on this captivating album..."

-Vive Le Rock ( UK)


"this album punches every button... Ridiculously addictive... Strong contender for album of the year"

-Uber Rock UK


"A celebration of rock 'n roll.. Contemporary in a way that is neither derivative or tiring"

-The Los Angeles Beat


"Bigcat love is verging on stupendous. I just stumbled across one of the best releases of 1976, it just happens to have been recorded in 2014. Smashed? To smithereens."

-Fireworks Magazine UK


"Toetapping songs with zest assault.. A glorious noise that sweeps through decades past while simultaneously touching base with today"

-Sceamer Magazine


"These guys rule... Solid tunes and stellar playing ... A great album"

-Metal Riot Magazine


"another collection of riotously varied and adventurous fusion's of rock 'n roll... A stirring captivation from start to finish"

-The Ringmaster review UK


"melodic hard power pop... A parade of catchy guitar riffs everywhere you turn.. You don't find bands like this anymore.. Truly musically rich"

-Powerpop Academy Japan


"Big cat love is a brilliant success ... Inspired by the past but way beyond current"

-Voice of Garage Grenoble  France


"these songs are ridiculously catchy.. A totally satisfying electric wall of sound... Highly recommended"

-All Access Magazine


"12 songs you never want to stop singing by these champions of pirate rock"

-Need A Rock and Roll Spain


"smash fashion are a little bit Cheap Trick, a little bit Faces, some glam, some power pop, and a whole Lotta fun"

-ClassicRock Magazine UK


"This entire album is irresistible. You have to be a zombie left over from " the walking dead " to not find something that sizzles"

-Rockulus Maximus UK


"these rock 'n roll dandies definitely have good taste.. Now let's play the hell out of these songs!"

-Veglam France


"Great songs which can be compared favorably to the classics of Kiss and Cheap Trick"

-Soul Of A Clown UK


"you just have to surrender to the playfulness of these guys..Big Cat Love wallows in peacock feathers and incense smoke"

-SwedenRock Magazine Sweden


"Big Cat Love is 12 tracks of the sensual zodiac... And every sign is represented. Could Smash fashion be the new fab four of the new American rock invasion?"
-Xombiewoof Magazine


"Their most definitive mission statement yet...A superb album...American dandy rock is alive and kicking at its very best in 2014..with impeccable taste and a wicked sense of humor"

-Shindig! magazine UK


"these guys fearlessly live in their own orbit... Punk , psychedelia flow effortlessly into a pop chorus...prone to the rock dynamite of Cheap Trick and Mott..with the proto glam of the Move..this LP will make your summer days"

-Rockway Greece


"Recommend to any rock fan..this will return you to the 70s when rock was at its peak... Do yourself a favor and listen to this wonderful album"

-New Music Underground Holland


"A real treat for the ears!..Smash fashion have proceeded to blow my musical mojo to pieces...they deserve to be huge.."
-Get Ready To Rock UK


Classic Rock Magazine OCT Issue


by Kris Needs


Glam less the ham.

Too many bands fly the glam flag with much noise and preening but minus the songwriting substance that elevated the likes of the Sweet, Slade and Mott. LA's Smash Fashion manage to strike a robust balance between resonant 70s-style pop-rock melodies and chest-beating.

Lining up as singer Roger Deering , Rock City Angels guitarist Stuart Casson, former Dils bassist Tony Kinman and drummer Repo from Finland's Smack, the band manage to whip up the bluster on ditties such as Stay Off My La La and Strike My Fancy (Knickers Down), although the haunting You Love to Suffer could startingly have sat as a highlight of Bowie's last album.

Q & A - Roger Deering, Smash Fashion



Rockulus Maximus were thrilled when vocalist and guitarist Roger Deering put some time aside to reveal more about the world of Smash Fashion.


GARY: What guided you down the path of Rock'n'Roll in the very first place?


ROGER: I got the rock'n roll bug at a very early age. I lived with my grandparents and my mom and my mom's youngest brother was still a teenager. He would put Elvis on the stereo and act like he was singing to the record ...moving dancing just like Elvis. I was mesmerized I would sit and watch him like it was a concert. Had a very big effect on me. There was always music in the house my grandfather would put "Wolly Bully" by Sam Sham and the pharaohs ...he would dance around the house madly. It was hysterical ...but I  realized how much fun music was. Me mum also had great taste In music and I remember flipping over the single to "Hey Jude" that she had laying around the house ...and that song was "Revolution" by The Beatles and just hearing John Lennon's guitar come ripping out of the speakers - wow chills up my spine.


ROGER continues: I started playing drums at a young age and it definitely kept me occupied and subsequently out of trouble; for the most part. We moved around a lot and I always found that music would be the one thing that I could get instant connection with, with new kids. We would have 'show and tell' at a lot of the schools, where kids would bring in something that they did at home. I would bring my little drum kit and play "Wipeout" and immediately I get popular with the girls and the guys, so I found out that music had a magic power at a pretty young age. It wasn't until I was 16 or 17 then I started to think about making the jump into being in a band. It was the Punk Rock era and the door was open and I dove in headfirst. There is no doubt in my mind if I didn't get into music I would've ended up in a life of crime, that was the only other thing that was available to me at that time.


GARY: How did the band name "Smash Fashion" come to be, and what other names were you thinking about at the time?


ROGER: Well, when the band first started we came out under the name The Flair... But right before our first LP came out we got a letter from a lawyer telling us to change the name, as a band in Vancouver had already been using the name. The name Smash fashion came about as it was a song title of one of my older songs that was about fascist cops. We like it because it had different meanings ...over the top....Breaking things.... Getting loaded.... Dressing cool... Destroying fashion....Many different meanings.


ROGER adds: It's funny we never thought that because the name had the word fashion in it, that some people would automatically associate us with being an all image band. Hardly the case. On the other hand, we do like to look cool and all the bands that I've always dug put some emphasis into looking cool. If you can back it up with your music, all the better. At this point, a name's a name. I really wanted to call the band the Flying Guillotines but once again it was a case of someone else had used the name already.


GARY: What was the first song you ever wrote and what was it about?


ROGER: The first song I ever wrote was called "My Toilet Has a Moustache" which is pretty self-explanatory!! Lol...


GARY: I noticed you like abstract art and French Surrealist writers. Could you share some names that get your juices flowing and explain why you're a fan of such exponents of the creative mind.


ROGER: Ive always liked musicians and artists that think outside of the box and I can get just as much inspiration from film or art and literature as I can for music. The films of Jororowsky, Kurosawa or Wes Anderson, or the art of Magritte, Manray, or Basquiat, or the writings of Lautremont or Poe have had just as much influence on my creative outlook as the Ramones, Iggy, Alice Cooper or Patti Smith.


ROGER elaborates: With what we are doing with smash fashion, I like the balance of tradition and abstract in our approach to rock'n roll. It feels like most Rock music today has been dumbed down to the point where its derivative and one dimensional, in other words, retarded. Way too much inbreeding. If you're a Metal band and all you listen to is Metal, you're going to end up having a retarded musical child. Sorry but that's the truth. I've always liked records and bands that covered a broad spectrum. Led Zeppelin. Queen. Thin Lizzy. The Damned. Even the Ramones had different songs in different tempos and took chances on their records. We could easily make a flat out Punk record or straight out Power Pop record; and for marketing purposes maybe it would serve us better. But that wouldn't be true to what this band is about. Catering to the lowest common denominator would be far too easy for me and this band.


GARY: What was the recording process for the 2006 album "A Gentlemen's guide to Sophisticated Savagery" like?


ROGER: Well, on one hand it was very easy as we were very tight; had been playing live for a few years and had a lot of great songs to choose from. So the recording process went rather easy. We recorded it here in LA at Paul Black's studio. Paul was a friend and was the lead singer for LA Guns and the drummer for LA Punk legends the Mau Maus... The mix however proved to be difficult. I started to butt heads with our bass player Bruce Duff who was mixing and producing most of the record. I think he wanted more of a raw lo-fi Rock record, where I wanted something that was loud but still kind of psychedelic and moody. So it is very hard to find the right balance to please everybody. I do feel it has a lot of great songs on it and I think it's actually a really great record. Some of those songs will stand the test of time in myopinion.


GARY: What lessons did you bring to the table when you approached the recording of "Don't Pet the Sweaty Things"?


ROGER: "Don't Pet the sweaty Things" is an LP that I'm very partial to. I have a love-hate relationship with the LP. The songs and the playing on the record are great. I feel those are some of the best Smash Fashion songs. But the mix suffered for many reasons. Some way beyond my control. That's the reason why we retracted  "Marionette". I felt it was too good a song to let slip through the cracks. "Hard on Love"..."Confessions of an Opium Eater"... "Sex Machine Gun"...."Sad, Sweet, Sick and Beautiful"....every song on that record I feel is stellar.


ROGER shares more of his thoughts: Unfortunately like I stated, that LP slipped through the cracks. It was a rather dark time for me as I had just lost my mother after taking care of her for two years while she was sick. Then our guitar player disappeared and quit the band which left me hanging to handle the guitar duties on the record. I was completely overwhelmed and emotionally drained, so by the time the recording was done I just didn't have the energy or the right frame of mind to get the mixes right. In retrospect maybe we should've held on and not released it or at least tried to get the mixes right. But as I said I wasn't in the right frame of mind, but at the time I felt it was important just to get the record out to keep the band going. I am hoping that it eventually will get a remix or we can just retrack some of the best songs on there eventually. It really is a great collection of songs. It feels like that record is our little wayward child. Troublesome yet you can't help but loving it.


GARY: Why did you settle on "Big Cat Love" as an album title and what do you hope it translates to the discerning fan?


ROGER: "Big Cat Love" was recorded in three different sessions. It's representative of what we've been doing for the last three years. This one we had more time and facilities to get it right. It's called "Big Cat Love" because that song to me is a representation of the rock vibe of the LP. I'm hoping that what it translates to people is that this is a fun record and if you enter our world you're going to enjoy the ride...


ROGER explains further: I think this record carries on our tradition of what we set out to do with Smash Fashion and it really does cover a wide range of material. It's amusing to see how people perceive us in so many different ways, which is fine by me. Are we a Glam band? Kinda ..I guess ...but when I look at other Glam bands I don't really know how much we have in common with them. Yeah, we like to look cool and we might wear cool clothes but We certainly don't have much in common with a band like Poison or Mötley Crüe. I relate to stuff like Bowie, T.Rex, Mott the Hoople, or The Damned way more than any of those kind of bands.


ROGER really digs in with his reflective observations: Are we Power Pop? Kinda. But then again when you listen to most of the bands that are labeled as Power Pop, with the exception of a few (Cheap Trick), most of them sound kind of wimpy. Yes, the harmonies and melodies are all great but a lot of times the music is just kind of wimpy. Our approach to Power Pop is one of aggression and power hence the word Power Pop. I love good melodies I love good harmonies. But it's got to have some balls behind it. Also our song topics tend to be a little bit more darker sometimes. Power Pop songs about narcotics! .....Are we psychedelic? Kind of....."Live to Tell" off the "Big Cat Love" record is an example of our approach to psychedelia. I like my psychedelia sweeping and epic and beautiful.


ROGER: I must say I feel the playing on this record is our best yet. So I want to give a shout out to the guys in the band also. I feel Repo's drumming on this record is so phenomenal. He never ceases to amaze me and I've really come to love him as a bandmate and a musical brother. Stewart's guitar playing on this record is also phenomenal. It's tasty and it's classy and it's got balls without being generic - I think he did such a great job on this record; not only the guitar playing but his production input and his mixing input...he really really gave it his all. Tony Kinman's bass playing is the anchor...he"s such a great bass player and I really love the song he contributed to the record - "Super Glam". At some point I think more people are going to start to recognize that we are really just taking the piss out of most of the things that we are singing and playing about, Which is to me what good rock'n roll should do anyway. If you can't have any fun while doing this why bother. It's such a god-awful business to be in anyway. You might as well have a laugh and take the piss while you're doing it.


GARY: Were there any songs on "Big Cat Love" that turned out much better than you expected and if so which ones?


ROGER: We tracked over 20 songs in the course of making this record so it was hard to pick through for the final selection. There's a few songs that I wish were on the record but just for the sake of not having the record too long they were left off. We're hoping that some of them might end up as either flipsides on a single or who knows they might end up on the next record. As for the songs that made it on the record, I don't know if any of them turned out any better but they turned out the way that we wanted them to. "Love to Suffer" was definitely a sleeper, we weren't really sure where that song was going to go and I'm quite happy with the way it turned out. It's like Phil Spector meets Roxy Music with a dash of 70s AM Pop on it.


GARY: What's next for Smash Fashion?


ROGER: Honestly, who the f**k knows? LOL!! I definitely have another two or three albums in me. Whether or not I want to go through the ordeal of recording them and getting them down on tape is another question. We do however want to get over to Europe and back to the UK. This is the first of our three records that we are actually going through all the proper channels to give it a push to let people know what we're about. The music end of it is fun, it's what we live for. But the business end is a drag. As long as we can do it on our terms and not have to bend over and spread our cheeks, Smash Fashion will continue... We're still waiting for the rest of the world to catch up with us!


Many thanks to Roger for his brutal honesty and insight, makes for a really interesting read. Don't forget to check out "Big Cat Love" when you get a spare moment.



Album review: SMASH FASHION – Big Cat Love


by Jason Ritchie


Now this loyal reader is a real treat for the ears! Put it this way, if you like any of the following bands – the Stones, the Faces, the Sweet, Cheap Trick and Jellyfish – you will love this album. The band features a few names in former Rock City Angels’ Lloyd Stewart Casson on guitar and they did feature former Quireboy Nigel Mogg on bass until last year. The real star though is vocalist/guitarist Roger Deering, who has the knack of penning memorable tunes.


There is a lot to enjoy on there from the Stones/Faces vibe on opener ‘Wicked Ways’ through to the 70’s glam stomp of ‘Super Glam’, imagine Roy Wood and T.Rex jamming with Elvis on vocals! Those after more 70’s glam will love ‘Stay Of My La La’ which recalls the Sweet in their hard rock pomp. ‘Blame It On The Brandy’ will get even the most reluctant feet tapping, a Cheap Trick approved chorus arrangement make for another top notch song.


Plenty of great lyrical couplets too – `Feel like a black cat in a coal mine’ – on ‘Stairs To Nowhere’ and ‘Time to screw my head back on’ on ‘Blame It On The Brandy’.


I love it when you have no expectations of an album from a band you’ve not heard before and then they proceed to blow your musical mojo to pieces. Smash Fashion deserve to be huge!

Roger Deering Interviewed by Jason Barnard


by Jason Barnard

SMASH Fashion are a crack unit of LA based musicians who produce big bold guitar music uniting fans from all quarters of the rock scene. Classic Rock declare them as “fizzy pop and psyche-tinged glam-punk [with an] injection of macho 70s arena-rock swagger… It’s sorta like if Peter Frampton hired Turbonegro as his back-up band to score some early ’70s episodes of Scooby Doo. And who wouldn’t want a piece of that?” Who indeed.

With a new album ‘Big Cat Love’ making waves; ladies and gentlemen, please meet SMASH Fashion’s honest, humorous and inspiring frontman, Roger Deering.

Roger, to open, for the uninitiated could you introduce us to the members of SMASH Fashion and what to bring to the band?

Why yes, of course, it would be my pleasure to introduce the league of extraordinary gentlemen that make up the SMASH Fashion band.

On guitars we have Lloyd Stuart Casson. Stuart is a phenomenal musician. His contributions to the band are immeasurable. He’s a consummate professional. His skills as an engineer and producer greatly helped with the making of the ‘Big Cat Love’ record. Stuart brings the degree of cool and levelheadedness to the band to counterpoint my hothead and my impulsive reactionary behaviour. He’s a textbook type B personality to my type A, so while we can grind each other’s nerves it is a balance that works. He’s very laid-back which I must confess that times can send me through the roof and up a wall!! Lol.

On the bass guitar we have Mr. Tony Kinman. Tony is an incredible bass player maybe the last of a dying breed. Like the great bass players of past, Tony can create melody and movement with his playing, instead of just pounding out eighth notes. He’s very musical and is quite an accomplished songwriter himself as evidenced with his past work. He practically started the hardcore punk movement with The Dils as well as starting the Americana movement with his band Rank n File. He has a very dry sense of humor and can be very cynical which sometimes is needed to keep a maniac like myself in check! He also smokes a very mean cigarette and looks very cool while doing it!

On the drums we have Rejio Kauppila who most Smash Fashion fans know as Repo. Repo has been in the band for most of the bands existence. He’s a very skilled drummer who can tackle any kind of tempo or beat. He brings a level of rock ‘n roll mania to the band that can keep it entertaining and fun.

I can also hear a range of other rock influences in your sound although elements of music recalls for me early 70s groups like my Mott, Silverhead and The New York Dolls. They are hard rock but flamboyant are they comparisons you recognize and what bands influence you?

Well, I’m a 70s kids so it’s natural for 70s rock bands to be a big influence on me. I grew up with all the stuff like Led Zeppelin, Queen, T Rex, Alice Cooper, Thin Lizzy, UFO stuff like that. But once punk rock came I knew that was my calling. And I’m sure it was the same for the other guys in the band. Punk was my doorway into the music business. I started drumming in bands before I picked up the bass, and for years I was a bass player and lead singer in a punk band. As for influences, yes, I would say Mott was definitely an influence as where the New York Dolls.

Bowie and T Rex were really big for me and even Elton John. Those 3 in my opinion are the bastard offspring of John Lennon and John Lennon’s always been my all-time musical hero. Cheap Trick have also been a huge influence and basically the blueprint for when I started SMASH Fashion. I wanted to have a band that had great melodies but a ton of rock ‘n roll aggression behind it. The Buzzcocks, The Damned as well as The Clash and the Sex pistols also. And let’s not forget The Ramones of course. Early Psychedelic Furs really had a big impact on me also. I would give almost equal billing to 60s influences, Tony is a big 60s guy as well as I am. Stuart is also well-rounded when it comes to influences. Like me he leans towards the hard rock stuff of the 70s a lot. Repo is also very much into rhythm and blues and hard-driving soul. I do feel that the combined influences of all of us do create a unique sound. We certainly don’t set out to sound like anything; it just comes out sounding like us.

Could you tell me about your background previous bands and how you made it to the industry since the 80s?

I myself started playing in bands in the New England area of the United States. I went to high school up there and at the time the Boston music scene was really fabulous. I saw lots of incredible bands that should’ve been worldwide stars. The Neighborhoods, Mission of Burma, The Outlets, the Real Kids, The Taxi Boys, Le Peste, Willie Alexander and the Boom Boom Band. I ended up getting in trouble up there and headed south to where my mother was living in Miami, Florida. There I found a very, very cool small scene that was ready to explode. This was around the time at the beginning of the American hard-core scene.

Me and a high school friend that came down after me started a band called the Drills. We were punk rock but not in the conventional way. Our roots were more in 60s garage rock as well as what we brought with us down from Boston. There were lots of great bands coming up and some that were already going when we got there. Charlie Pickett and the Eggs, Crank, The Reactions, The Kids (who had a young Johnny Depp on guitar), The Abusers who later became the Rock City Angels, Z Cars, Cats on Holiday, Casey Chaos (who is a dear friend) had a band called Disorderly Conduct. A very tight-knit scene with all kinds of bands with all different kinds of styles.

There was a club on Miami Beach called Flynns Ocean 71. They were open seven days a week live bands every night. It really was the CBGBs of the south. Every touring alternative rock band played there. I saw Girlschool do a weekend there Friday and Saturday night. We partied with them up in the hotel suite till the sun came out. Those were really fun times. There was a rumor that Lenny Bruce once Od’ed in the bathroom there I’m sure it was true. Over the next few years we found ourselves playing with all the great hard-core bands from Black Flag, the circle jerks, the bad brains, to such punk legends as the Ramones and the Deadboys. The guys that later became the Marilyn Manson band all used to go to our shows and were big fans. I also did an album with a band called the Psycho Daisies, I did all the lead vocals on an album called sonically speaking. Spin magazine voted the record one of the top independent albums of the 80s, so I guess it made an impact on some people.

Many, many years later in Los Angeles, while I was a bit down on my luck, I was working at the fleamarket on Fairfax and Melrose and Ryan Adams approached me and asked me if I was Roger Deering. I said yes, why? He introduced himself and told me that sonically speaking with one of his favorite records. The Drills released one record in 87. It was a album that I wasn’t very happy with. I felt it didn’t quite capture with the band was about. The Drills were a very, very cool band and on certain nights we are as good as anybody out there. We had a fantastic lead guitarist (Alex Herrera R.I.P), and our sound was a cross between Black Flag, Motorhead and Mott the Hoople.

Finally after we felt we had outgrown the punk scene that we helped create we decided to head west and in 1988 the band moved to Los Angeles. I actually met Stuart in the early 90s, he auditioned for a band I had going. He eventually hooked up with my old pals the rock city angels and played with them for a while cutting an albums worth of material and touring Japan with them. Unfortunately by the time 92 rolled around, even though I was signed to a major record deal with a very good band, (we were even managed by Don Arden of Small Faces, E.L.O fame), by that point I had picked up quite a nasty little drug habit. It took me 13 years to shake that habit which left me homeless unemployable and totally estranged from music for many years. It wasn’t until I cleaned up that the muse came back to me. After a few start up bands I finally got up and running with what became the early incarnation of SMASH Fashion. It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock ‘n roll. And I’m only here by the skin of my teeth.

How does ‘Big Cat Love’ compared to your previous records?

I think there are a number of factors that make ‘Big Cat Love’ the best of the three records that I’ve done with SMASH Fashion. I feel the playing on this record is far superior than anything that we’ve done before. The songs are very good and most of them were played live so we had a very good feel for them when we went into track. Stuart really spent a lot of time going over guitar parts with a fine tooth comb.

Another thing that we did with this record was we wanted to make sure that it would appeal to a rock ‘n roll audience. By that I mean we kind of sidestepped some of the more quirky material that we had tracked. That’s always been a kind of a struggle for me, as it’s the more off the beaten path material that I tend to favor more personally. So we conscientiously decided to make a little more of a straightforward record. Which seems to be paying off as this record really seems to be hitting a nerve with a lot of people. We did manage to slip in some of our more moody different tempo type of songs though. ‘You Love To Suffer’, ‘Live To Tell’, and ‘Just a Kiss At the Starting Line’ are all examples of that type of stuff. The production and the mix on this record are also far superior to the previous two records. It may be the first record I’ve ever done in my life that I’ve been pretty happy with.

‘Wicked Ways’ is a great rock ‘n roll number. What are your favorite tracks from the new album?

It really depends on my mood. I think that’s what the album has going for it has a lot of different moods and flavors. You feeling raunchy? We’ve got that therefore you. You feeling horny? We’ve got that there for you. You feeling lonely? That’s there also sorrow, regret, empowerment, celebration, anger, joy. There is a great assortment of moods on this record. To me that’s what a really good album is about anyway. I hope we were able to capture that. One review of the LP said it has something for all 12 signs of the zodiac, which I thought was a very cool description of the record.

Big Cat Love sounds superb, where and how did you record it?

The LP was cut in four different sessions. The first three sessions were recorded at Big Scary Tree studios, Little Tokyo downtown LA. The last session was done at Tranzformer studio in Burbank Ca. Majority of the vocals and guitar overdubs were done at the Shoeshine Suite in Silverlake LA. We did our best to keep as much of it analog sounding as possible. Once again credit really needs to go to Stuart for his superb job of not only engineering and setting up the mics and recording everything but just his mixing and production skills. He really did a fantastic job.

Some bands, like to have one lead songwriter whilst others, like the Stones, have to members to collaborate. What does SMASH Fashion do?

There’s really no formula for songwriting. This record in particular I wrote all the songs. With the exception of “Super Glam”, which was Tony’s song. On the two previous SMASH Fashion records, I co-wrote all the songs on the first record, “A Gentlemen’s Guide to Sophisticated Savagery”, while on the second smash fashion record, “Don’t Pet the Sweaty Things”, I either co-wrote or wrote the rest of the material myself.

I’m totally fine with collaborating on a song, it just so happens that for this record that didn’t happen that much. Although I will say it’s the other guys contributions to the song that really make the pie complete.

I’ve always had a knack for being able to string together chords and words and melodies. That coupled with the gift of the gab, I’ve been able attract very good musicians and guitar players. I very much love to collaborate more with Stuart and Tony. We shall see what happens. Our very different schedules sometimes make that type of collaboration difficult.

‘Blame It On the Brandy’ and ‘Stay Off My La La’ are very anthemic. When you play live what tracks do your audience respond to the most?

I guess it depends. But generally, when we play people do get moving and dancing. That’s when we know we’ve done our job when we see them smiling and dancing. But let me put it out there, what we really would like to see, is the ladies ripping their shirts off, flicking their tongue at us, while pinching their nipples!

It looks like you had a great time making the ‘Aim for the Heart’ video.

I don’t know how the other guys feel but I love making videos. We’ve made three for this record. And they’ve all been fun. We hope to get one or two more out of this record. We try to keep them entertaining and not go off on a tangent where it becomes a bad mini movie. Most of the favorite videos I’ve seen were done in the early days of MTV or pre-MTV. In other words were budget doesn’t dictate the creativity of the video.

There are many great bands who’ve also based around LA from The Doors to Guns and Roses. Do your see yourself in that linage and what’s the scene like today?

Yes, LA has produced a lot of great bands. Arthur Lee and Love, The Doors, Iron Butterfly, The Germs, X, The Gun Club, Red Kross, The Quick, Van Halen, Circle Jerks, Dream Syndicate, Tex and the Horse heads, The Weirdos, Jane’s Addiction, Plimsols and on and on.

I would say as far as SMASH Fashion is concerned, that we would be somewhere in the ballpark, of a cross between Van Halen, Jane’s Addiction and the Plimsols. Not so much musically but more in the vibe that those bands carried. The 80s glam thing in LA wasn’t something I couldn’t identify with at all. I never liked 99% of those bands. The only good thing was the amount of women that showed up. It was like shooting fish in a barrel! Any dork with long hair and guyliner could get laid as much as possible. I know we get lumped in with the “glam” tag, and if your referring to more 70s stuff, then that’s cool. But the 80s stuff generally sucked which is why the guys in the band and myself all were in the punk scene. It had more energy and it was a real movement. I’ve never considered us a glam band. We are a rock’n’roll band. Just cuz the singers pretty don’t hate the players!

This scene today while quite different and not is crazy as it was in the 80s and 90s but it’s still going strong. We still have great bands like the Hangmen, Motorcycle Boy, Redd Kross, OFF. The Crazy Squeeze are also very cool. I also like a band called the Shiteland Ponies who are very good . There are still a lot of the old-school places left here, such as the Whiskey, the Roxy, the Troubadour. There aren’t as many live music venues as there used to be but there are still a few cool ones and a lot of cool ones opening up and thriving in downtown Los Angeles. The Redwood, the Down n Out are having live bands 7 days a week. My all-time favorite venue was called Mr. T’s Bowl. I feel some of the best shows SMASH Fashion has ever done were in that dumpy club. Unfortunately it has met the fate of many other live music venues it’s closed it’s doors.

Is ‘Stairs to Nowhere’ an LA reference?

Clever little bugger aren’t you? Yes, I guess you could say that. It’s a love song disguised with a double meaning. It does get frustrating here, there’s so much stuff going on. And because it’s an industry city, you see a lot of musical trends and fads come and go. We’ve been doing this for close to around 10 years now although we’ve had considerable downtime. We are all veterans and we know the score. I don’t think what we’re doing will ever make us the most trendy band here in Los Angeles. Nor would I ever want to be. We’re just going to keep doing what we do till we get tired of it. You can’t concern yourself with all that stuff or it will get you down. As a musician, performer, band member, you just have to do it because you love it. Then again we all want recognition for what we do, don’t we? Smother me in kisses please!

You’ve picked up some great press including Classic Rock magazine. What’s next for SMASH Fashion, live shows, world domination!?

There definitely will be another record for sure I know I have enough in me for 2 to 3 more records at least. I have a huge catalog of songs that I’ve written over the last 6 years. And there’s a lot of leftovers from the sessions we did for this record. We do want to tour Europe and get back to the UK. We really loved it over there and found audiences very receptive to what we were doing. I think there’s a different mindset with the European rock crowd as opposed to the US rock crowd. Simply stated I think Europe in UK has much better taste in what passes for rock music. A lot of that is the fault of the US music industry which is completely lost its way. Maybe if the US music industry pulled its head out of Nicki Minaj’s fat ass for a second they might notice there’s a lot of real good music going on!

Smash Fashion, Album Review



by Luke Smyth


First brought to Shindig!’s attention when they came over for power-pop guru David Bash’s IPO in Liverpool and London back in 2011, Los Angeles’ Smash Fashion, led by superyob and style icon Roger Deering, have made their most definitive mission statement yet with this superb third album.

Oft-mentioned are the influences of Cheap Trick and The Faces – I would also like to add to the mix Big Star at their most rocking, Queen, The Darkness, The Cars and maybe even The Psychedelic Furs or The Godfathers at times – a sort of hard rockin’ glam / power-pop Frankenstein. If saying all that sounds very Anglophilian, at the same time you can still feel the punk sleaze dripping off Joan Jett, splattering past the New York Dolls, punching Alice Cooper in the nuts and finally landing on Kim Fowley’s leg. And rightly so.

Highlights for me include the saucy ‘Wicked Ways’, ‘Marionette’ with it’s Brian May-tastic middle section, some late ’70s Bowie on ‘You Love To Suffer’, and the surreal soul rock of title track ‘Big Cat Love’. With a beautifully done modern rock production, kick-ass guitar solos from Bad Brains alumni Lloyd Stuart Casson, and the rock solid rhythm section of ex Quireboys bassist Nigel Mogg or ex The Dils’ Tony Kinman and Finnish glam rock legend Repo on drums, it’s hard to go wrong here.

American dandy rock is alive and kicking at it’s very best in 2014, with impeccable taste and a wicked sense of humour. Who’dathunkit??!!



UK Fireworks Magazine Review


by Steven Reid

Apparently I should have been waiting a long time for "Big Cat Love" (I'm not even gonna pussyfoot around what the title could mean...), for it's been four years since Smash Fashion suggested we "Don't Pet the Sweaty Things." Apparently in the meantime a host 7" singles (yes, black slabs, not shiny discs, or WAV, FLAC or CRAP files) have slithered out out to great acclaim. Apparently my head's been in a blender, for even though I've never heard Smash Fashion before, those four years seem an eternity, A sides, B sides or not.

Apparently Smash Fashion are brilliant and they're retro. Apparently they ooze early Kiss grooves, sticky Sweet Glam, Face grit, Mott The Hoople sharpness and Cheap Trick sheen. Apparently the mix when recreated by a group containing one-time Rock City Angels guitarist LLoyd Stuart Casson, ex-Quireboy Nigel Mogg - although he seems to have slinked off into the bandana wearing, hip shimmying distance after stamping on three tracks, his replacement being Tony Kinman of Rank and File - ex-Smack drummer Repo Kauppila and front-man of many voices of the past (Steve Marriott, Steven Tyler, Brian Connolly) Roger Deering, becomes a shimmering shake of delights.

Apparently the song Big Cat Love has the strut and spiky hair of Rod Stewart, Wicked Ways has the thrust of the Kiss classic Mr Speed and Blame It On The Brandy doesn't need any excuses for what it made you do in a 1970 Glam haze last night. Apparently Aim For The Heart knows that Saturday Night's Alight For Fighting but thinks Cheap Trick wrote it. Apparently Stairs Nowhere leads to a Punk nosed snot of Sleazy goodness. Apparently Strike My Fancy (Knickers Down) is what Ace Frehley would have done if he'd been asked to join The Faces.

What is apparent though is that "Big Cat Love" us verging on stupendous. I've just stumbled across one of the best releases of 1976, it just happens to have been recorded in 2014. Smashed? To smithereens, apparently...

Purr-fectly glam-tastic r’n’r.


by Essi Berelian



It really is some trick to make the listener feel utterly at home from the opening chords and keep them in the groove for the entire kaleidoscopic ride, yet that is exactly what Big Cat Love pulls off with some style.

We're on Classic Rock's Tracks of the Week



...Smash Fashion — Wicked Ways

Featuring members of The Quireboys, The Dils, Rock City and Smack, Smash Fashion are a little bit Cheap Trick, a little but Faces, some glam, some power pop, and a whole lot of fun.




Album Review: SMASH Fashion’s Big Cat Love is Big Fun



The crash of the gong kicking off “Wicked Ways,” the opening track of SMASH Fashion’s third LP, announces unapologetically the forthcoming 12-song celebration of rock and roll.  Big Cat Love is a tasty trip through rock’s glorious 1970s zenith when rock was ROCK and the weight of the imploding world did not lessen our love for huge guitars, loud stereos and songs about pretty girls, broken hearts and attitude.  The brain child of vocalist/guitarist Roger Deering, SMASH Fashion is well-versed in the better trends of the era, pulling from Big Star, T-Rex, Mick Ronson, Paul Weller and Cheap Trick in a pleasing, contemporary way that is neither derivative nor tiring.


Production is superb and reminiscent of the painstaking love that Elton John may have tapped for Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. “Strike My Fancy,” with its pounding piano rhythms, saxophones and obligatory cowbell, and “Blame It On The Brandy” carry a swagger largely lost in rock music today. “Marionette’s” crunchy guitars recall The Jam or Sex Pistols before leading into one of the most impressive rock guitar runs ever. Sonic morsels like the talk box guitar buried in the ending chorus of “Stay Off of My La La” or the didgeridoo-like chanting at the beginning of the title song “Big Cat Love” demand repeat plays of Big Cat Love in anticipation of more grin-eliciting hooks and harmonies.


SMASH Fashion’s personnel include punk legend Tony Kinman of The Dils and Rank and File on bass, guitarist Lloyd Stuart Casson, and drummer Reijo Kauppila.  Impressive performances underscore their status as in-demand sidemen for Andy Prieboy (Wall of Voodoo), HR of the Bad Brains and punk rock and soulsters The Bell Rays.


A dozen listenings of Big Cat Love confirm an initial impression:  SMASH Fashion captures the rock and roll electricity that inspired this writer to regularly race home from school to devour and wear out his older sister’s copy of Desolation Blvd. (Sweet).  Whether or not Big Cat Love has the mass appeal to be the album of the summer, radio listeners and Los Angeles rock stations would clearly benefit from putting 4 or 5 of SMASH Fashion’s latest tunes into regular rotation.

PopVulture Entertainment Network: Smash Fashion



Los Angeles based rock dandies, Smash Fashion, features an all star line up led by the iconic Roger Deering with ex members of London Quireboys (Nigel Mogg) on bass, Finnish glam rock legends, Smack (Repo) on drums and Rock City Angels (Lloyd Stuart Casson), on guitars. The band has been entertaining audiences with their great songs and explosive stage show since 2004. Oblivious to musical trends and fads, SF continues to forge their own unique world. SF has successfully managed through alchemy to distill all that is cool about rock music: 50’s rock and roll, 60’s Mod, Glitter rock, Power pop and Psychedelia; 70s hard rock and punk; to create their own musical Frankenstein. Singer/songwriter Roger Deering”s Lennon/Bolan influenced lyrics, open the door to a rock and roll fantasy land filled with toothless hunchbacks, witchy girls, sinful pigeons, opium dens, invisible friends, lonely pharaohs, aging beauty queens, psychedelic hermits, beehive hats and lots of big cats. And lets not forget his heart wrenching bittersweet love songs.

Musically, Smash Fashion prefers to take the high road. Even though the inventive arrangements and nifty rhythms will give the musical snob plenty to chew on, SF can pour it on hard and heavy. A loud and powerful band that can blow the face off any rock hungry crowd, SFs wicked sense of humor and their willingness to take the piss out of themselves, keeps it all in check. With two full length releases under their belt, 2006’s “A Gentleman's Guide to Sophisticated Savagery,” 2009’s “Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things,” and a 7" single, "Blame It On The Brandy," ( all on Electric Pudding Recordings ) and a new release due this spring, Smash Fashion have cultivated a worldwide following. SF's broad appeal has seen them opening shows with such legends as Ian Hunter, Arthur Lee and Love, The Zombies, Cheap Trick; 80s rockers such as Psychedelic Furs, The Alarm and Missing Persons; and current rockers like JET, Tsar; pop masters The 88 and UK sensations, Orson. Smash Fashion are that rare breed that can Rock any audience…..Step into the dandified world of Smash Fashion

"Being able to share a stage with such legends as Ian Hunter or Arthur Lee is a complete mind-blowing high…having them tell you they dig your band is even more mind blowing!"

popVLTR: You've been making moves in Los Angeles, how'd you get into music? Smash Fashion: Roger: I've always been into music.As a young kid,my mum always had music playing in the house.She was a huge music fan and listened to everything from the Beatles to Marvin Gaye to Patsy Cline…..first memory of music is my grandfather dancing madly to Wooly Bully by Sam Sham and The Pharaohs …..the record that lit the rock fire in me was Revolution by the Beatles…John Lennons opening guitar riff all distorted really blew my mind.When the punk thing hit,it was a gateway for me to enter the music world as a player and performer…I think that all the guys in the band entered through the punk rock gate.Hell,our bass player Tony Kinman was in maybe the first American punk band,The Dils…..they actually opened the first Clash tour with Bo Diddley on the bill

popVLTR: Congrats on the upcoming LP, who are some of your influences? SF: Thank you…new LP is called Big Cat Love.Its our 3rd full length LP and continues in the tradition of our love of psychedelic pop,power pop,glitter rock and flat out rock with a punky edge….it took awhile to finish but I believe its our strongest and best sounding LP….cool artwork by NYC graphic poster artist Scarlet Rowe…..The bands influences are very wide….and as we each all have our own it contributes to the overall end result….I have a wide range of stuff…I love Bowie and Marc Bolan and John Lennon of course…theres a big Queen influence…Dwight Twilly on my behalf….Repo loves Dr Feelgood and the early Stones as does Tony…Stu really digs UFO and early Kiss…we all get into the early R&B and soul…and of course the first wave of punk…Clash,Pistols,Ramones,Bad Brains,Buzzcocks…and the Damned!

popVLTR: What are some of your proudest moments in music? SF: Well, releasing any recorded stuff is always an accomplishment ….this is our 3rd LP and I feel that they were all good and this one is the best yet…our first LP had a song that Rodney on the rock had on his playlist for the whole year,that was cool.Being able to share a stage with such legends as Ian Hunter or Arthur Lee is a complete mind-blowing high…having them tell you they dig your band is even more mind blowing!All the guys in the band are veterans..we've all done cool stuff…Tony had the Dils and Rank n File,he's a LA rock legend….Stu plays guitar with HR(Bad Brains) when we are not busy and was in the Meatmen and The Rock City Angels…Repo was in Finnish legendary band Smack…..I myself have got to share the stage with most of my heroes at this point….music is our life and its in our blood

popVLTR: What cool stuff is on the horizon for Smash Fashion? SF: Smash fashion just signed a management deal with NJF management so we are looking to take it up a notch…we have a bunch of songs that didn't fit on the LP so there may be a few singles coming out later in 2014….we really loved playing in the UK so we are focusing on getting back there asap!….we are all excited about the new LP..Big Cat Love….get it and play it loud and dance naked!!!



45rpm Roundup



The 45rpm vinyl format isn’t dead. In fact, I see more of those little seven-inchers in my mailbox these days than I did even a couple of years ago. Here I take a look at four recent submissions. None is at all musically like the others, and seven out of the eight songs are highly recommended.


D A W N S – “So Help Me God” b/w “Camouflage”
Reading about this one, I was expecting some sort of Americana-oriented sounds. In fact the press sheet sent along with the disc (actually a 33rpm record) notes that the “touring band is an eclectic six-piece outfit with upright bass, cello, lap steel, bow saw and percussion…” But that’s not the vibe they conjure on ”So Help Me God.” They stomp through the song, sounding like a more melody-oriented Arcade Fire with better songwriting and a singer whose voice doesn’t grate on me. The flip, “Camouflage,” does present a slightly more acoustic-flavored approach; the haunted and breathy vocals, shimmering guitars and sparse, echoey production recall Big Star‘s Third. How can that not be great? And the direction the tune takes in its final minute is an unexpected treat. Plenty of shade and light on this record; if it’s a teaser to a forthcoming long-player, I’m all ears. White vinyl.


Rick Berlin w/the Nickel & Dime Band – Always On Insane (“Summer Roof” b/w “I’m Jes’ Sayin’”)
Ska in 2012? Well, okay. Sounding like some bizarre cross between Warren Zevon and Mental As Anything, “Summer Roof” features peppy horns and a fun, shouted chorus. But the song detours into a lovely midsection that’s as far from bluebeat as one can get – it’s singer/songwriter-ish, even – before launching back into an exuberant yakety-sax solo. Loads of fun, this one. The flip “I’m Jes’ Sayin’” has a relaxed, jazzy vibe with some soulful vocals backed by some lovely, creamy oohs. As the song unfolds, it’s reminiscent of Pete Yorn‘s work circa Nightcrawler. This song could easily be the work of a different band, but since it’s not, I’m left to think that Berlin has an impressively wide stylistic palette.


Smash Fashion – “Blame It On the Brandy” b/w “Marionette”
Calling to mind the fun, sleazy and swaggering era that brought us Sweet, Alice Cooper and Suzi Quatro, “Blame it On the Brandy” makes no concessions to modernity: it’s timeless in its approach. Handclaps, a straightforward earworm riff (albeit one that owes more than a little to “Bony Maronie”) and plenty of power chords all come together to remind you that – Gary Glitter be damned – glam rock was a helluva lot of mindless fun. Some dual lead guitar work on the outro is a not-so-subtle hat-tip to Thin Lizzy. The flip, “Marionette” is every bit as good, sounding as it does like a lost prime-era Elton John track without the piano. Some Queen-like guitar heroics are icing on this glammy cake. Woo-hoo indeed. Full album, please…stat.


Dr. Manhattan – “Hot Sauce” b/w Dormlife – “Weak Sauce”
A lo-fi vibe and a slightly dorky campfire feel provide the basis for Dr. Manhattan’s song that seems to be mostly about smokin’ that shit. With a musical approach that’s a little bit like Violent Femmes, it’s fun in a rickety-jalopy sort of way. I can’t help picturing these guys in vests and fedoras, smirking their way through this barrelhouse romp, but it’s fun enough for what it is, in a modest sort of way. The flip from Dormlife is much stronger: it features tight’n'lovely vocal harmonies, a jittery stop/start melody, taut drum work, some aggressive acoustic guitar strumming and bursts of rubbery bass. Hard to pin down stylistically, it’s a sort of tuneful rethink of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Or something. Something good. Verdict: the “hot” song is relatively weak while the “weak” one is tasty stuff indeed. Clear red vinyl.



Midnite Mixtape Massacre - Roger Deering - Smash Fashion





Uber Rock reviewed the great 'Blame It On The Brandy' 7" single from retro rock dandies Smash Fashion a few months ago, and marvelled at the '70s glam inspired stomp that met us as we placed the needle on the record. We asked the band's frontman Roger Deering to compile his ultimate 13 track mixtape for our now-fabled Midnite Mixtape Massacre feature, and he came back with collection of songs fit to grace many a C90....


1.) 'Public Animal #9' - Alice Cooper (from the album 'School's Out')

The soundtrack to my juvenile delinquency... When I was a little lad my grandma came into my bedroom and sat on the edge of my bed and said with deep concern, "I'm really worried you're gonna turn out like this Alice Cooper character!"



2.) 'Man from Mecca' - The Sweet (from the self-titled album)

To this day the heaviest song ever - total badass...with lipstick even!


3.) 'Razamanaz' - Nazareth (from the album of the same name)

Saw them as a teenager - rumour had it that singer Danny McCafferty had filed his teeth into fangs. We fought our way to the front of the stage to get a closer look....he had fangs!


4.) 'Brontosaurus' - The Move (from the album 'Looking On')

Monster groove...thicker and sludgier than a dozen Kyuss records. If Jeff Lynne is Jesus, then Roy Wood is John the baptist!


5.) 'Lord of the Thighs' - Aerosmith (from the album 'Get Your Wings')

Tyler and company at their sleaziest best. Great photo on the LP cover, the band looks....well....evil! Not a weak cut on this masterpiece. The original pimpdaddys.....Tyler on the cover with his legs spread, bulge, and all fingernails and lips...... Wicked good as they say in Boston.


6.) 'Jerkin' Crocus' - Mott The Hoople (from the album 'All The Young Dudes')

Love Mott. Killer riff and the always great lyrics of Ian Hunter.


7.) 'Alright With You' - The Jook (from the 'Glitter from the Litter Bin' glam rarities collection)

Love obscure glitter singles from the '70s, and this one is great. The Jook, kinda like a cross between The Who and The Bay City Rollers......they'll kick yer kick head in while licking a lollipop!


8.) 'Rapids' - T. Rex (from the album 'Tanx')

You need to shake your ass to this!


9.) 'Violation' - Starz (from the album of the same name)

These guys were hit and miss but they hit it out of the park with this one.....


10.) 'Tomorrow and Tonight' - KISS (from the album 'Love Gun')

America's answer to Slade...they were great before they tried to go "heavy" - GREAT rock 'n' roll songs.


11.) 'Birth, School, Work, Death' - The Godfathers (from the album of the same name)

I've felt torture, I've felt pain, just like that film with Michael Caine!! Genuis stuff from this nasty bunch.


12.) 'No Secrets' - Angel City (from the album 'Dark Room')

Kinda like a new wave AC/DC with Jagger on vocals.....great band.


13.) 'Stiff Competition' - Cheap Trick (from the album 'Heaven Tonight')

Killer Who-ish riff with soaring vocals from Robin Zander; as good as it gets and the blue print for my rock 'n' roll.........



Smash Fashion: Blame It On The Brandy/Marionette



Whatever the shade or flavour which sparks up our individual fires, we all love a bit of music nostalgia. Arguably a major chunk of current music harkens back to earlier times in some way, whether a band inspired by the first days of death metal, another by the psychedelic sounds of the sixties or one investigating the post punk discord of the eighties. There are others Like US rockers Smash Fashion who openly and eagerly attempt to re-ignite and re-energise a style which gave breath to their love of music.


LA based quartet Smash Fashion is, in their description, a power pop rock n roll band, in our description the band is quite simply rock music at its best, honest, enthused, and here to aurally molest with the wink of a devil. The band show with a passion their distinctive dandy rock in their current single Blame It On The Brandy/Marionette, two songs which pull you back to the seventies with a fine mix of power pop, hard rock, and a spattering of glam. The tracks play like a fusion of The Motors, Sweet, Cheap Trick and most of all Thin Lizzy brought up to date and given a fresh heart. The single follows two acclaimed albums, A Gentlemens Guide to Sophisticated Savagery of 2006 and Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things which came out three years later, all through Electricpudding Recordings.


The band is fronted by the iconic Roger Deering, a man with a swagger in attitude and songwriting not to mention vocally. With him the band has a line-up which could almost be called a super group. The guitars are brought by ex glam/punk band Rock City Angels member Lloyd Stuart Casson, whilst on bass there is Nigel Mogg, ex member of British hard rock band The Quireboys, known in the US as London Quireboys. Completing the line-up is drummer Repo (Reijo Kauppila), once of Finnish glam rock legends, Smack. The four come together to create sounds which resurrect feelings and thoughts from earlier times whilst turning them into a thrilling proposition with its place firmly in the now, the result a evocative feast for the senses.


Blame It On The Brandy is first up and immediately has the senses at attention with the thumping and anthemic rhythms of Repo pounding at their door. The track then settles in a keen yet reserved brew of infectious hooks, stirring riffs and pulsating rhythms. The vocals too have a welcoming draw which invites one to unify in voice with the chorus whilst group harmonies further light the air. The track is pure rock n roll tinged with contagious seventies glam flourishes especially mid way in, and a closing crescendo of burning guitar play which is hard rock at its best. The song is an evolving pleasure starting with an American rock introduction moving through that a glam rock teasing and ending with a guitar climax which would fit smoothly into any Thin Lizzy set. It is a seamless flow which takes the infectiousness of the song deeper until it is a raging presence in the head long after the last note has drifted away.


Marionette is a dirtier and feistier track, the band adding a punk rub to their sound. Though the song ruffles the ear more than its companion it again is instantly engaging with immense satisfaction left in its wake. The rawer air to the song brings a heavier and more mischievous adventure to the ear, its attitude combative yet respectful. The song, a reworking of a track on Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things, has glances of The Damned and Dead Boys to it and having checked out the original for comparison, the band definitely bring a strength and roundness maybe lacking in the original to the song for a fuller impact. From the rhythms and hypnotic basslines to the expressive vocals and searing guitar invention, the song hits the spot dead centre and arguably is the better of the two tracks.


If Smash Fashion is a band which has eluded your ears then there is a no better entrance into their naughty, hungry, and exciting world than through Blame It On The Brandy/Marionette. They are a long overdue treat no one should be denied.


RingMaster 18/08/2012



Smash Fashion “Blame It On The Brandy” 7″



Los Angeles doesn’t only produce MOTLEY CRUE/GUNS N’ ROSES clones. Look at SMASH FASHION for instance, these guys get most of their influences from the swinging 60s and sparkling 70s. Is it surprising? Not that much when you look at the band line-up: Nigel Mogg (ex-QUIREBOYS), Repo (ex-SMACK), Lloyd Stuart Casson (ex-ROCK CITY ANGELS) and lead singer Roger Deering who probably owns more than one or two SLADE, MOTT THE HOOPLE or FACES records!

Only two songs on this limited edition 7″: “Blame it On The Brandy”, a killer song with a great T.REX/Bowie guitar riff and a pretty catchy chorus, and “Marionette, a track that was previously recorded and which sounds a bit like a mix of STONES and CHEAP TRICK with 70s glitter rock backing vocals!

These rock’n'roll dandies definitely have good tastes and this is rare enough to be underlined these days. Now let’s play the hell out of these songs while waiting for a new album!/Laurent C.



Smash Fashion - 'Blame It On The Brandy' 7" (Electric Pudding Recordings)



Most pointless question asked of Uber Rock so far this year? Would we be interested in reviewing a band featuring former members of Finnish garage rock royalty Smack, Rock City Angels and the London Quireboys.


That band, Smash Fashion, have followed up their duo of long players - 2006's 'A Gentlemens Guide To Sophisticated Savagery' and 2009's 'Don't Pet The Sweaty Things' - with a numbered 7" single (limited to 300 copies) that, when it arrived on the leopard print doormat of URHQ, filled the room with the sweet sounds of rock 'n' roll that pretty much followed the blueprint of why we got into this r'n'r business in the first place.


Fronted by Roger Deering, Smash Fashion have Repo on drums and Lloyd Stuart Casson on guitar - the former a member of a later version of Helsinki hellraisers Smack that also featured Sami Yaffa, Casson a member of the reformed Rock City Angels who turned out the 'Use Once & Destroy' album almost a decade ago - but it is the man playing a low slung bass guitar that will possibly be more familiar to most reading this: it's fair to say that The Quireboys have never really been able to replace Nigel Mogg - a huge nose/feathercut-shaped hole left on every stage they step onto - and it is great to have the guy back and spinning on my stereo, like the past two decades never happened.


While Smash Fashion's influences are trapped in the same rock 'n' roll history books as Mogg's former band, their sound is definitely crafted from a different chapter. These rock dandies have a little more in common with the bass player's other band Nancy Boy than the Qboys. They've shared stages with the likes of Cheap Trick and uber-faves Tsar and that says a lot about their decadent direction. File this alongside Flash Bastard and Prima Donna - yes, the cool as hell section of your collection.


The lead track of this limited 7" vinyl single, 'Blame It On The Brandy', hits the ear like a glitter bomb detonated in Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco, the walls dripping with vintage glam, glitz and glamour. Jungle drums introduce a fat 'n' sexy retro riff that melts into a timeless melody line that quite simply takes you straight back to a simpler time, a time when music like this was everything. It has handclaps and "whoo-hoos" too! Glorious.


Side B consists of another sun-bleached killer of a tune, 'Marionette', that is impossible to listen to without offering a click of the fingers here, a clap of the hands there - proper Jagger moves, not like the ones US radio pretenders fill their bank accounts on the back of. This is electrified, simplistic, real rock 'n' roll, the music that, even as we strive to spread our wings, is the sound at the core of Uber Rock: we love this, and you should too.


I keep thinking back to Col. Parker, the band formed by Gilby Clarke, Slim Jim Phantom, Muddy Stardust and Teddy Zigzag over a decade ago, when listening to Smash Fashion, with a healthy spattering of old school '70s glam coating it all, but if you love lisapproved_image_lrg_2012tening to anything from Mott The Hoople and their seminal ilk, via the strains of Cheap Trick at their basic three chord best, through to the modern era of fop-haired greats like Biters and the aforementioned Prima Donna who just won't let this rich vein of rock 'n' roll bleed out, then this band is for you. Highly recommended.






by Gus Bernadicou


Electricpudding Recordings are proud to announce the release of the new 7inch single by LA's premier power poppers Smash Fashion. Limited to 300 (all numbered), this is sure to become a collectors item. Following in the Smash Fashion tradition of their distinctive blend of power pop, glitter rock and psychedelia, the boys have again delivered the goods.

In this world of commercialism, songs do not succeed unless they are packed with a commercial tint. But commercial tints do not always guarantee mainstream success, luckily though through the underground bands can thrive. Smash Fashion, Los Angele’s premier power-pop band, have a new single out that features two of the hottest tracks of the year. The images associated with Smash Fashion’s latest release is the euphoria associated with Robin Zander rolling around in glitter. From Ziggy to Hanoi Rocks, every glam and power-pop-ism is associated with this band. With their killer guitars riffs, catchy hooks, and instantly addicting appeal no can be done with Smash Fashion. They are HOT.
“Blame it on the Brandy,” the A-Side, is a homage to 80’s rock. It starts off with loose guitars, a funky backbeat, and over-the-top sexy vocals. It's the kind of song that everyone unconsciously can relate to. Whether that's good or bad is up to the listener. “Marionette,” the B-Side, equipped with oohs and ahhhs represents the puppet master behind, us, the puppets. It is the perfect three-minute power-pop song.
Smash Fashion is a fun band with a fun message. They are not to be missed or taken for granted, they can change the world.



The Bowers, The Stanleys, and Smash Fashion



The Bowers “Odds or Evens”
This Melbourne Australian band from gives us a real hidden gem. The tight riffs and vocals of Phil Gionfriddo make ”Time Is Mine” a winner, and his cadence reminds me of Ed Rolland (Collective Soul). Taking a cue from 60′s Mod, the thumping beat and Byrdsian psyche-pop gives us “Going To Love Me Now.” This is near perfect garage pop with the harmonies, farfisa organ, driving riffs and wailing lead retro enthusiasts will cherish. It loses a little steam towards the end with the droning title track, but it’s worth uncovering for sure.
Bandcamp only


The Stanleys “Always” EP
Another Aussie export, The Stanleys are a quartet that draws from classic 70′s bands like The Raspberries and Sweet with modern rock techniques similar to Weezer. Then you throw in studio wizards like Ken Stringfellow (REM, The Posies) and Michael Carpenter, and it’s a pretty impressive debut here. The hooks are strong on “Always” and “Kid’s Gonna Rock” and the sound is comparable to Vinyl Candy. Enjoy!
CD Baby | Amazon


Smash Fashion “Blame it on Brandy/Marionette” EP
LA based dandies led by Roger Deering and supported by veteran musicians, have a glam meets power pop sound. The thundering drums and crisp guitar riffs on “Brandy” demand attention. It’s a lot of fun, and the b-side “Marionette” is just as infectious with some great Brian May styled guitar solo work between the main verses. The band has a back catalog worth investigating, and I’ll be looking forward to the new full length LP. CD Baby



Smash Fashion – Blame It On the Brandy


by Alex Baker

Smash Fashion is a retro rock outfit from Los Angeles with a sound that’s a dandified confection of ‘70s bubble-glitter, power-pop and classic arena rock. The band is led by Roger Deering, a formidable singer/guitarist who possesses the presence of an ageless vintage rock front man. Deering is backed by Lloyd Stuart Casson, a lead guitarist with a Gibson Flying V and a style that recalls iconic players such as Mick Taylor, Mick Ronson, and Brian May. Bassist Nigel Mogg and drummer Reijo Kauppila form Smash Fashion’s pumping powerhouse rhythm section. The band is a live favorite around L.A. and has even made a foray across the pond to play shows at the Cavern in Liverpool and the Bull and Gate in London.


The group’s latest single, “Blame It On the Brandy” kicks off with an opening guitar riff and drum beat straight out of Slade’s “Gudby t’Jane.” The song, a cautionary tale of binge drinking gone astray, features Casson weaving Bolan-boogie-inspired guitar leads, while Deering and the rest of the band lay down the song’s foot-tapping verses and infectiously hooky choruses with a suitably Rod-Stewart-and-the-Faces level of bravado. Little touches like handclaps and falsetto background vocals help maintain the authentic glitter-rock vibe while Deering struts in front of the mic, delivering a straight-ahead rock vocal performance a la Eric Carmen or Phil Lynott. Behind him, the rhythm section kicks up a driving riotous wave of rock, with Kauppila’s big arena drum sound and Mogg’s pulsating bass line providing the groovy framework. When all is said and done, “Blame It On the Brandy” comes out sounding rather like a Chinn and Chapman production involving Thin Lizzy and the Raspberries.


The B-side “Marionette” is more of a power-popper and slightly less Anglo-sized than the A-side; sounding almost more like the Replacements or Big Star than the Sweet or Mott the Hoople. “Marionette” is also more anthemic than the swaggering A-side, with more great falsetto backing vocals, and an ascending and descending guitar jam Brian May would surely have approved of. “Marionette” was recorded once before, for a previous release. However this more complete version lends a nice counterbalance to the Stonesy bravado of the A-side as Smash Fashion demonstrate their knack for also being able to deliver straight ahead power pop, injected with arena rock sensibilities.


“Blame It On the Brandy” is available as a limited edition seven-inch on Smash Fashion’s own oh-so-aptly-named label, Electric Pudding Records. It was produced not by Chin and Chapman but by Deering and Casson, and features cover art that looks as if it was inspired by Terry Gilliam’s animations from Monty Python’s Flying Circus. With only 300 copies having been pressed, “Blame It On the Brandy” is currently available as a vinyl-only limited-edition single from CD Baby and at record stores around L.A.


Rating: 4/5 Stars

Album Name: Blame It On the Brandy
Date Released: 2011
Genres: Glam Rock, Classic Rock, Power Pop
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Band Members: Roger Deering, Stu Casson, Nigel Mogg, Reijo Kauppila



New Album! Smash Fashion



Glam punk powerpop alert!

I’ll admit it – I love everything about glam powerpop. The fat guitar chords, the thrashing drums, the foot-stomping beat and the huge hooks are the antithesis of subtle, but there’s a time and place for everything. I love Loudon Wainwright III but I don’t bounce down the street blasting “Your Mother And I” out of the car stereo, windows down, rear-view mirror shaking from the pulse of the woofers. Nope, that’s what glam and powerpop is for.


I missed Smash Fashion’s 2003 release (and have since made up for it) and almost did the same thing with 2010′s Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things. (Thank god for late night “sounds like” tangents on Amazon and CD Baby!) I wasn’t sure what to expect from a group photo that had one guy thrusting a Flying V guitar neck at me while sporting an eyepatch, but at the risk of hearing an album full of Dr. Hook covers I dove in.


Video: “She Goes Down


Like most powerpop bands, you can play spot the influence. For example:

  • Baby Dancer” and “Blonde Raccoon” are so reminiscent of Dwight Twilley I had to check the credits
  • Hard On Love” is as KISS-like as its title
  • Confessions of a Opium Eater” is the bastard child of “Auf Weidersehen
  • Proper Way To Eat A Muffin” is T.Rex incarnate
  • Sad Sweet Sick and Beautiful“ has Mick Ronson’s fingerprints all over it
  • All Systems Go” is like a mashup of Matthew Sweet and ”If I Needed Someone
  • Mott The Hoople, The Sweet, Cheap Trick…and so on.


The title track is as close as you’ll get to a glitter ballad. There are also a couple of covers – the muscle pop rendition of Abba’sDoes Your Mother Know” is really good but “Benny And The Jets” was probably better left alone. Still, this impressive collection of glammy chestnuts is well worth getting and playing loud. These guys know exactly what they’re doing, and they sound like they’re having a blast in the process.


Life is short, stop taking it so seriously. Blast this mofo out a window.

Track Of The Day: Smash Fashion



This lot have connections with The Who, G.G. Allin, Don Arden… and even Elvis Presley! They are Smash Fashion, who were featured on a recent Classic Rock cover-mounted CD. They're the ones in the spotlight for today's Track Of The Day. Check out all the latest Tracks Of The Day here.


Words: Sleazegrinder

I like a band with so many dubious back-stories that even they don’t remember how it all went down anymore. Suffice to say there’s at least a 10 per cent chance that Smash Fashion singer Roger Deering and guitarist Jami Patrick were Siamese twins, separated at birth, who roamed the Earth for decades in search of their long lost other halves.


They finally reconnected – so to speak – in a Bangkok titty bar in late 1997; Jami was slinging drinks, Roger was on some sort of exotic ‘expedition’ for the weekend. Turns out both the brothers were not only musical, but also possessed impeccable dress-sense. They formed a band and called it Smash Fashion. Thusly, ‘Dandy Rock’ was born.


Something like that, anyway. I will offer up some 92 per cent true facts about the band in a moment, but first permit me to gush a bit about their new album. Astute Classic Rock readers will recognize Smash Fashion’s name, since a track from their first album, The Gentleman’s Guide To Sophisticated Savagery, was featured on a recent Classic Rock CD.


Hot on the heels of this cometh the tongue-twistingly titled Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things, a suitably swank sophomore effort that offers all the fizzy pop and psyche-tinged glam-punk of the first record, but adds a welcome injection of macho 70s arena-rock swagger into the mix. It’s sorta like if Peter Frampton hired Turbonegro as his back-up band to score some early 70s episodes of Scooby Doo. And who wouldn’t want a piece of that?


Here, courtesy of Smash Fashion and Electric Pudding Records, is Confessions Of An Opium Eater from their new album Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things.


And while you’re listening, here’s some Smash Fashion mostly true fun facts!

* Smash singer Roger Deering once played bass for Chuck Berry.

* Sad, Sweet, Sick And Beautiful, a song on the new album, was written on the same guitar on which Paul McCartney wrote Black Bird.

* Drummer Repo was once a member of Finnish sleaze-glam legends Smack.

* Bass player Tony Babylon was once in a band with Michal Lockwood, who married the King's daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

* A teenage Roger drummed for deceased 'rock'n'roll terrorist', G.G. Allin.

* Roger was once managed by the legendary Don Arden. Some of the bands that Don Arden managed include The Small Faces, The Move, and ELO.

* Tony Babylon at one time worked for Tom Petersson and Cheap Trick as a bass tech.

* The piano on Baby You're A Star!, from the first album, was played by Brian Kehew, who not only was in the Moog Cookbook with Roger Manning from Jellyfish, but also plays with The Who.