Review: Smashed Gladys – RAW

Review: Smashed Gladys – RAW

Golden Robot Records (October 7th, 2022)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Well I must admit I had some trepidation when I first heard about the upcoming release of ‘RAW‘, which is a collection of songs that were initially demos for a never released third Smashed Gladys record. Demos can be a bit of a mixed bag to say the least, generally speaking old demos are on the whole pretty ropey, which let’s face it is to be expected.

Well dear reader, I can announce that demo is certainly not the correct description for the songs on ‘RAW‘. This really is that unreleased third album, the sound quality and the production, recently mixed by the band’s first producer Mark Dearnley, is way above demo quality.

Smashed Gladys first hit my lugholes when they released their second album ‘Social Intercourse‘ way back in 1988. Having read the review in Kerrang I thought I’d give it a go. Smashed Gladys weren’t on paper a band I’d normally be attracted too, the song titles and lyrics weren’t what you normally hear from a female vocalist, but Sally Cato & Co delivered them in such a way I was hooked.

Sally Cato sadly passed away in May 2020, and ‘RAW‘ is certainly a fitting tribute to her time in the music business.

One thing’s for certain, you won’t be short changed on the number of tracks, ‘RAW‘ contains no less than eighteen of them! Now that again raises a potential problem. Does it water the album down? Are there songs that shouldn’t have made the cut?

There’s nothing to my ears that screams I shouldn’t be here! It’s more a compilation of differing styles, be it that sleezy, punky sound of ‘Move Over‘ or opener ‘Black Beauties and Blue Eyed Blondes‘, reminiscent of the band’s other two albums, which fans will be only too familiar with, or with say ‘13 Broadway Babies & White House Ladies‘ with it’s southern influences, the AC/DC feel of ‘Ain’t Looking For Love‘ or ‘Bump In The Night‘ complete with honkey-tonk piano.

I’ve played ‘RAW‘ quite a few times over the last couple of weeks and I’ve really enjoyed listening to it. The songs don’t sound overly dated and have a feeling of there could have been so much more, if it hadn’t been for a rapidly changing music scene.

I’d certainly recommnd ‘RAW‘ to Smashed Gladys fans, but also to those of you who just fancy listening to a decent rock album.