Wrong Side Of Vegas

Dirty Jobs

Written by: PP on 14/10/2007 16:00:30

Looks like garage-induced rock and roll is getting a serious face lift in Denmark at the moment. It's only been about a week since I reviewed I Am Bones' excellent "A Greater Good", and already now I'm facing with the next band in line from the same country with the same mission: to bring danceable rock grooves back to the forefront of the music scene. It's been too long since the last The Hives album I guess. Anyway, Wrong Side Of Vegas was kind enough to send me a copy of their debut EP "Dirty Jobs", a record full of new and old school influences ranging from 70s rock to bouncy rock and roll.

"You Won't Stop Me" opens the EP with a little bit of feedback and distortion, before vocalist Morten Christensen unleashes his attitude-filled, 'i don't give a fuck'-style voice that draws parallels to bands like The White Stripes. Halfway through the song, the tempo increases radically and the band hops straight into the old school rock and roll bandwagon. You know, the kind of tune which had people dancing along manically back in the 60s and 70s when rock 'n' roll was hip. A good start for the record, in my opinion.

Next up is "Don't Rip My Dead Heart", probably the best song on the record, but also the one song which I have my biggest grudge with. You see, this song wasn't written by Wrong Side Of Vegas, but The Hives. Everything from the vocal style to the verse riff, the bridge riff and the chorus is pretty much identical to "I Hate To Say I Told You So", albeit with a lot more energy and speed. After each line I keep thinking Christensen's gonna throw in a "because I'm gonna" lyric like in the original song, it really is that similar. At first I wasn't sure, and thought maybe it's just me, but then I decided to do an experiment and played the song to a few of my friends, and asked them afterwards do you know what band and song it is? 3 out of 3 said "I Hate To Say I Told You So" by The Hives. I just can't believe Wrong Side Of Vegas wouldn't know of one of the most popular songs by The Hives, especially considering that the band is Danish and The Hives are from our next door neighbors in Sweden! So while I think it's an amazing song, I also think it's a direct rip off. Regardless, I'm willing to give the band the benefit of the doubt, but if you are reading this guys, make sure you are careful in the future because I think The Hives would win in court should they sue you over the song.

But back to the actual record. "Soren Lund" is really good as well, successfully building on the 70s rock meets garage-punk as made famous by Wolfmother. But here it's clear that the band has merely taken some influence from the band, and modified that influence to fit into their own sound, which by this point of the EP can be determined to be dwelling somewhere in the void between The Hives, The White Stripes and Wolfmother. This is especially evident in "Break Your Neck" which basically merges the sound of the first three songs.

In the end, "Dirty Jobs" is an excellent debut EP from a new band. Aside from the more-than-obvious The Hives rip off (which is an excellent song nonetheless), there aren't many flaws on the record. Just like their influences, Wrong Side Of Vegas plays high-octane lively rock and roll full of energy and punk attitudes. At least personally I can't wait for their next release.


Download: Don't Rip My Dead Heart, Soren Lund
For the fans of: Wolfmother, The Hives, The White Stripes
Listen: Soundvenue

Release date 07.08.2007

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