Dirty Sweet

American Spiritual

Written by: TL on 20/07/2010 21:50:31

It's been a hard fight for retro rock'n'roll bands with high pitched sneers for lead vocals, making a name for themselves after Wolfmother crashed into the scene and pretty much made their band synonymous with the style. It's been harder still for such bands, making an impression on this reviewer, ever since The Parlor Mob released an album that gave Wolfmother more competition than it was ever recognized for. Nevertheless, band's still try their hand at this kind of music, and one of them, the San Diego five-piece Dirty Sweet, has just released a new album called "American Spiritual".

What it sounds like I have already given away. For eleven songs, Dirty Sweet cram more classic rock references than I care to count (Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Doors, Zeppelin, etc. etc. etc.) into tighly played, no-nonsense kinds of songs that speak of both skill and experience on behalf of the band. It's good for several reasons. First of all, this sort of music will likely never go out of style. Let's face it, it hasn't for 50 years, it's not going anywhere. Second, Dirty Sweet have the charisma to make the expression fly. Third, even when the songs aren't perfect, rock fans should still find plenty of pleasure in recognizing the inspiration for each and every little tribute to the inheritance of classic guitar rock.

That being said, I don't see Dirty Sweet being quite up to par with Wolfmother, nor with The Parlor Mob. For that, there's just the final, tiny yet all-important, sense of class missing from the songs. On occasion it simply feels like you're digging the identity of the song out from another stretch of Dirty Sweet doing their thing yet again, rather than you feeling like everything is adding up towards the song's union. There are of course exceptions, like the tasty "Kill Or Be Killed", which features a quirky little gypsy-rock riff alá Rolling Stones, or the Wolfmother-ish stomp of "Crimson Cavalry". It's songs like those that ensure that this is the record I think I'm most likely to return to, of the score I've reviewed since my recent 'resurrection' as a contributing writer on this site. Still it falls barely short of presenting Dirty Sweet as strongly as bands like the ones I've already compared them to. However, if the band can gain a little more confidence and maybe make their elements compliment each other just a tiny bit more on their next release, then I'll be looking very much forward to it.

Download: Kill Or Be Killed, Crimson Cavalry
For The Fans Of: Wolfmother, The Parlor Mob
Listen: myspace.com/dirtysweetmusic

Release Date 09.04.2010
Acetate Records

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