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June 18, 2024

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Dirty Power
Dirty Power (Dead Teenager Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

And Electric Frankenstein takes a bride. Then again she don't look like she's ripe for anyone's taking, forget her green skin shade, it's just the first thing that popped into my head in viewing our vindictive cover page vixen with the taste for weaponry. "Lost Souls Day," took me about to the twelfth chorus before I realized where "LSD" came from - obligatory lyrics not supplied so here's where the well-trained ear comes into practice. Understandable in that Dead Teenager, great label name, is a newcomer to the scene and sure, let's pawn off a few before loading up the next package! Read some good write-ups on this one and my brain's already in a hospitable mood considering the fun I had at Rocket From The Crypt and rediscovering Sonny Vincent, so it'll take a lot to dissuade me. I'm not hearing eleven tracks of the same song, note for note, round the block again Rhino Bucket types cashing in the latest three chord Rock lottery, and so maybe we're onto something here. For about four songs I'm thinking there's this weird cross between classic AC/DC and newer "Noise"-era Anthrax - yeah, it's a stretch but damned if it's not convincing enough at least for tracks one, four and five. The Rock scene's stayed buried for a number of years now and how refreshing it is to listen as it ventures again into the unfriendly waters of a mass market mainstream that offers nothing nearly so threatening as the corporate confederacy would have you believe. The results have been some astounding new releases by old schoolers and their class cutting followers who've bled from the best and imbibed a cool groove that dates back to the history of Rock guitar and brings to it an aggressive enough attitude that's as against the grain as a mouse on a lit fuse? (See cover inlay). Old age notwithstanding, Dirty Power began life in 2000 and with "power" being the operative word, they've amassed some major riffs to go with a unusually dense production that's on a level with anything from KISS's "Hotter Than Hell," AC/DC's "Highway To Hell," or Alice's "Go To Hell?" maybe not so much Alice's, but it just fits. A band like AC/DC, huge as they are, and let's take old Kiss who for their first six years - or albums - were as distinguishable as anyone; Each have sold millions upon millions of records, lived through leaner years, and still thrive today, more than twice the age of the average upstart and maybe not a day wiser - they are, but it really doesn't matter. They didn't fuck with a winning formula (keeping in mind "early" KISS now), let the trends come and go, stuck to the strengths and built a lifetime's loyalty that's as impenetrable as any existing today. Dirty Power - "Tastes Like Burning" is a raunchier version of Black n' Blue's "Hold On To 18" from their phenomenal yet unappreciated '84 debut incidentally - has the balls to act upon its desires by adopting an already proven not fooling anyone formula that's coming back around and destined to be a sticking point in the comfort level of a lot of lesser known clown acts. The title track is pure sonic density as is the follow up "Lady Danzig," (of a side note, maybe if Danzig, the band, stayed true to the style of what got them there, they'd still have fans who gave a shit). Referentially, there've been some close callers like American Dog, Buck Cherry, and more recently Brand New Sin, all of whom might still flood the market with their bottled up brand of sweat and sleaze, but in terms of reproducing the true originators, these guys got 'em cold. So their debut record is an impressive display of power chord precision, inviting harmonies and enough temporal gear-shifting that you're not completely reliving the "Powerage" years, but roaming comfortably somewhere between '77 and '84 - when the actual drum beat mattered. Think in terms of Classic Rock, Garage Punk, '80s Metal, and really anything else you can shovel in there that's completely uncool to mainstream disc spinner, dick jerker types, and add a little subwoofer depth to the overall mix - nice job Jack (Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Supersuckers) Endino, obviously the right man for the job and who, for current purposes, may additionally display his tarnished gold amongst the likes of yesterday's great knob twiddlers who drained every last ounce from "For Those About To Rock," "Fire Down Under," or "High And Dry," cause they just don't make 'em like that anymore! If ya like yer Rock heavy, loud, and menacing, poser free and free of any perfumes, dyes, or braided beards and bare ass cracks, Dirty Power delivers the dynamite right to your door! Referentially active types might place them somewhere in the mix with those not so easy on the eyes, attitude over image types like AC/DC, Armored Saint, Motorhead, Zeke, Zen Guerilla, Unida (Unida over Fu Manchu? Yup) old - I mean, back when Pete Willis was still in the band and boozin' like a bar back two minutes after the last bell - Leppard, the Supersucker, Hellacopter, and Scandinavian Sleaze Rock and Satan types that continue to blow a hole in the rest of the world's listening tastes!
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