“This is the sound of the suburbs” Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire to be exact “a satellite of London.” Local lads S*M*A*S*H’s flame shone brightly for a couple of years, when they went from ’local band’ status to darlings of the music biz, thanks to the music press sponsored pre Brit Pop;
New Wave of The New Wave, which was basically a load of bands with the attitude, style and sound of bands from between 77-79 lumped together by the NME and Melody Maker, S*M*A*S*H along with These Animal Men were the best of the bunch.
Like the Stone Roses on PCP was how S*M*A*S*H were described by the NME in 1994. On this their first demo recorded in 1990 when they were called Smash At The Blues they sounded more like The Stone Roses without the PCP. With their second demo, (not sure if it is actually their second demo, but it’s the second one in this post) an MC5 aural assault had started to creep into their songs, and they were just S*M*A*S*H. By the time of their 1993 Self Abused demo the PCP had kicked in and thanks to favourable reviews in fanzines, local radio station and a review in the NME the band were on their way, and what a great fucking band they were ,touring tirelessly up and down, and across the country with cheap gigs, cheap merchandise and their own fanzine; Petal Buzz, which helped to spread the word and build them a large and loyal following. Two independently released singles in 1993 received rave reviews and sold out endorsements from The Jesus and Marychain, Joe Strummer, New Statesman and The Guardian soon followed as did a Top Of The Pops appearance and a record deal with Virgin subsidiary Hi-Rise which saw the 2 singles re-released as a mini-album before their debut album Self Abused hit the streets in Sept 1994. More gigs followed including support slots with The Ramones, The Cramps and Corrosion of Conformity.
Sadly S*M*A*S*H disappeared from the radar in 1996. They did start playing again in 2003 and released a second album Icon in 2007, which I don’t think is a patch on their debut, the PCP seemed to have worn off, saying that though, it’s a ton better than a lot of the shite that’s been about over the last few years. Maybe S*M*A*S*H were a band of a moment and that moment may well have past, who knows, because I saw ’em live again at Club 85 in Hitchin a few years back, and they were still on the ball.