Friday, 25 June 2010

REVIEW: The Dirty White - Vs. Evil Circles

With all the sensitive, deep-and-meaningful indie rock that does the rounds in these parts, it's easy to forget the joys of raucous, balls out rock music. Thankfully though, before acute hipster-blinkers set in, a band like The Dirty White comes along, chugs a case of beer,  plays loud & lairy for a while, and rekindles that old heavy rock warmth.

On debut album Vs. Evil Circles this South Carolina trio hit a variety of tempos and tones, all firmly rooted in their steadfast appreciation of a powerful riff. 

Opener Mighty Prehistoric sets the scene as it rides in on waves of distortion and raw guitar drive. There's a certain Southern groove beneath it, reliably stoking the engine, but the relentless rhythm section and thrashing of the guitar provide the main lure here. Dabney Coleman Pt. 5 adds a dash or six of post-hardcore jaggedness to the mix and the guitars continue their vicious writhing throughout. What starts to become clear is how unapologetically pure the band's pursuit of that loose rock n roll attitude is, regardless of the influence being channeled. Anything from the fuzzed jams of Fu Manchu (There Were Helicoptors) to the unhinged caterwaul of McLusky (Dry Bones) come to mind as we progress through the album, amongst many other artists in between. 

MP3: The Dirty White - Mighty Prehistoric
Taken from the album Vs. Evil Circles, out now - BUY

Part of the appeal lies in this apparent variation of influences, as everything is applied with an honesty and open-mindedness that keeps each song interesting without losing the central thread of loose, raw rock. Goocher, for example, isn't afraid to start off placid and somewhat melodic, returning to this state at times, but still overloads regularly with bursts of charging guitar and off-kilter dual vocals. There Were Helicoptors is another highlight, this time focusing on keeping the guitars strung out and entering something of a jam session further in, where vocals are set aside and the instruments do the talking. Whatever choice the band make, it feels genuine and, for the most part, a successful decision.

Vs. Evil Circles is relatively short with its eight tracks and isn't going to blaze any trails into new styles of music for the listener. What it does get the pulse racing and revives the thirst for checking out the band live, loud and with beer in hand. 

And that, surely, is the hallmark of any worthy rock record?

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