|Dirt Box Disco - 'Bloonz' (STP Records)|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Friday, 11 April 2014 03:00|
'Bloonz', the third album from Dirt Box Disco, is one of those records that does exactly what it says on the tin...it's just that the tin is chock-full of vintage punk rock pin badges, used pan stiks, broken guitar strings, splintered drum sticks, and effortless hooks that hang around like David Carradine.
If the band's perfectly-titled debut EP, 'Are You Ready?', was the finger bang, and debut album, 'Legends', the sweatiest, dirtiest sex of your life, then second album, 'Peoplemadeofpaper', was the date where you might have just realised that you were in love, L-U-V. 'Bloonz' ups the ante again with, surely, everyone's favourite band reminding every listener that this rock 'n' roll business was meant to be entertainment, no matter what the circumstances, subject matter or state of the nation at time of release.
Dirt Box Disco, so impressive live, have basically made an album where every one of its dozen tracks is immediately listened to and then lusted over in terms of hearing it at a gig for the first time, each one fitting seamlessly alongside its older brethren.
The only complaint anyone can level at this ten-legged Midlands mutant of a band is just how they, when every other wannabe musician on the planet cries him/herself to sleep every night dreaming of finally fashioning a killer chorus or hookline, knock flytrap choruses and the most infectious melody lines heard by the human ear out with such ease, every one a winner, every song home to at least one hook that sticks in the head like a bullet from Phil Spector's gun.
'Standing In A Queue' kicks things off in typically British, and DBD, fashion: the chorus, suitably, the first thing out of the speakers, the song exactly what you would hope for when slapping the proverbial needle on the record. Next track 'We Are The Rejects', though, blurs the lines, a menacing piece of guitar work introducing a real call-to-arms and a surefire new anthem for the band's fans. It's frenetic, it's furious...it's friggin' great.
'Rewind and Eject' reminds the listener, already with heart a-pounding and lips a-grinning after just two songs, that Dirt Box Disco, amid the chaos, has a more melancholic side, oft hidden. The song, obviously coated with lashings of melody, runs through relationship drama by way of a VHS tape analogy and offers another reason to love this band....as if more were truly needed.
The next song is 'Bullshit', though, thankfully, not as clichéd as the writing masterclass at sentence start. A trademark "whoah-oh" refrain follows a slow burner of an intro, the song quickly unfurling into another future live classic. It's "hey" rather than "whoah" as 'King Of The Castle' kicks in: the "I'm the King of the Castle...and you're a fuckin' bastard" line as hilarious as it is barbed.
'9 Lives' showcases more of that, dare I say it, sensitive side to the band, the song's love-gone-bad theme still wrapped around a gorgeous power pop punk melody line, before 'Welcome To Hell', you've guessed it, kicks up another shitstorm, its "c'mon baby, let's go" chant the perfect introduction to the grimy garage rock qualities of the chorus and guitar solo.
'I Swapped My Brain' has more of an old-school punk vibe to it, yet still has scope to squeeze in the neo-classic "I'm like a puppy with two dicks" lyric into the mix. 'Supreme & Gobshite' not only stakes its claim for song title of the album, but also the record's most vicious stab of a tune. There's still space for a gorgeous alt. rock guitar break, but make no mistake about it, this is a song spat out with some bile.
All that's left to do before pulling your chin up off the floor and staggering to the stereo to press play again is listen to closing track, 'We're Going Out Tonight', a storming songbomb so typical of this band that its quality shouldn't really surprise - it doesn't: one hundred and one seconds of hellraising punk rock mayhem with talk of tequila slammers laced with crack, cocaine, whiskey and rock 'n' roll. It's another stonker....as is this album.
Arguably the best live band in the country might just have recorded the best album in the country, in this year at least. If you love Dirt Box Disco then 'Bloonz' will not leave you feeling deflated. Yes, it's easy to be swayed by a punk rock collective who throw out shit-eating grins with every tune on their setlist, but to continually do it on record, ultimately providing yet more songs to seduce sweaty men in sweaty venues, takes some doing. To be cynical about Dirt Box Disco completely misses the point: this is fun, no matter what the lyrical core.
Buy this album, learn every word, sing every one back at the band in your venue of choice, and have the time of your life....no matter what that life throws at you. Essential.