Dirtbag Republic: Dirtbag Republic
I don’t have the time to get into a whole history lesson here, but the thumbnail version is that back in the flash-metal days, there was another Pretty Boy Floyd that was way better than the Hollywood imbeciles that you’re thinking of. They were from Vancouver, and a couple of ex-Floyds are in this band. And this band is fucking stellar.
What if Backyard Babies never blew it after Total 13? That’s exactly what you’ve got here on Dirtbag Republic, man. This is an album that’s packed with hard-edged glam, rip-snorting guitars, hook-heavy choruses, snot, blood, reckless abandon, smeared eye-liner, faded glory, pointy black boots and comic book heroism.
You’re never more than thirty seconds away from a Johnny Thunders riff on this one. In fact, the whole thing is basically like living through a lost weekend with Hanoi Rocks, the New York Dolls and the Dead Boys. This is what rock’n’roll sounded like before everything went to hell. If you’ve got any soul left, this is going to save it. (8⁄10)
Grave Rat: *Tomes Of The Dead*
I dunno man, some folks are gonna pick up a guitar and write Good Day Sunshine-type bullshit, and some people are gonna write songs about child-eating sorcerers with snakes for eyes, crawling out of their own graves. These dudes are the latter types. This is the sonic equivalent of finding rotting film reels of amputee porn in the woods. Just evil, really. (6⁄10)
Bad Monster Black: *Bad Monster Black EP*
Imagine dosing Zodiac Mindwarp (the whole band) with brown acid and then leaving them in a room full of funhouse mirrors and snarling pitbulls with nothing but sledgehammers and a Korg sampler from 1995 to fight their way out. So deliriously macho my speakers just grew chest hair. I didn’t think Kentucky was this fucked-up. I’m glad it is, though. (7⁄10)
Blood Knife: *Sorry, We Were Drunk*
These dudes would be a metal band if they didn’t keep spending all their leather jacket money on cigarettes and over-the-counter cold medicine. As it is, we’ve got some seriously grungy jams on our hands here, full of surprisingly flashy guitar solos and low-watt odes to their dicks. Remember that stoner creep that was banging your sister? He’s in this band. (6⁄10)
Psychic Wounds: *Twisted Visions*
The guitars on this thing actually sound like they can gut you. It’s psychedelic in the most frightening way possible, just a wall of blood-soaked reverb, pulverizing fuzz and drums that are pretty much fists punching through plaster walls. If motorcycles were as big as mountains, this is what bikers would listen to. It just stomps everything in its path into jelly. (7⁄10)