Dirtbag Republic “Downtown Eastside”
When we read Dirtbag Republic’s ‘about us’ section on Facebook, we thought it had been written specifically for us. A description of ‘low slung guitars, sleazy riffs, big choruses, pounding drums, no cliché lyrics, and all about the attitude!’ pretty much sounds like everything we look for in a rock n roll band.
Forget ‘you had me at hello’, Dirtbag Republic had us with the title of opening track “Junkie Girl”. Let alone when we got to its irresistible hook. It’s not alone in that respect, songs like the excellent “My Part Of Town” and “Swing and Miss” are big rock songs that are as catchy as they are punchy.
We’d describe their sound as melodic punk rather than the more twee punk pop. Songs like “Homeless”, “Free Falling” and “Crawling Back To Me” have a real Wildhearts feel about them. True, it’s probably that band at their most simplistic eg Earth versus The Wildhearts era, but that’s perfect for us as that’s when we really loved them. We love a dirty punk rock sound which is equal parts sleazy rock n roll and catchy melody.
These aren’t just simple, run of the mill punk rock songs though, these are just finely crafted songs. It takes fine song writing to take dirty rock n rollers like “See You In The Morning” and “Don’t Shoot Your Mouth Off” and yet still deliver anthemic and catchy choruses that don’t jolt with the tone of the song. Although, they’re also more than happy to produce a full throttle punk song like “Thinking Of You”.
It’s so good to hear a really good rock album that is packed from start to finish with excellent punk rock songs. The comparisons to the Wildhearts and related bands such as The Loyalties or Main Grains is an easy one to make. Thankfully, despite the efforts of mainstream media, dirty punk n roll with a bit of melody is a style that just won’t die..thank god (or the devil!).