Dirti Speshuls – Long Time Coming – Album Review
Quite often I can find myself trying to figure out how other people might listen to music…like as in, what quantities, what doses, how often do they change bands or song to song… What I’ve gathered in all my time spent listening to music through my entire existence is that the widespread genres all still have common threads that we can adapt to through listening and find a way to enjoy. Those of you following along here already know this; but in listening to the Dirti Speshuls new album Long Time Coming…well, today I found myself wanting to know if any of you out there have ever had that pure joy of putting on an album and, breathing a HUGE sigh of relief with a gigantic smile on your face, realizing that one of your favorite sounds in music has returned in full force.
Canadian music…we’re strange aren’t we? With bands like The Tragically Hip, Our Lady Peace, Matthew Good Band and more, Canadians left their mark hard in the 90’s and into the next millennium through some truly inventive alternative music and some really unique singers. One of the bands that were extremely influential to me personally during that time was Age Of Electric. A fantastic band in their own right; the dissolution of this band gave way to something even greater – Limblifter. A two-piece band of brothers, Ryan and Kurt Dahle formerly half of Age Of Electric went off to create an entirely new & artistic sound in alternative rock. It worked brilliantly as music…and went on to fizzle commercially…many people missed the boat on this incredible sound brewing in alternative and even the gluttony of Canadians invading the music scene wasn’t enough to get their music the attention it deserved.
I can tell you who didn’t miss a single beat of all this Canadian musical-history – the band actually in review here today, Dirti Speshuls. The comparisons between lead singer Todd Carter and Limblifter’s Ryan Dahle are uncanny and the music is just as energetic and vibrant through the production…I literally can’t tell you just how excited I was to discover a sound I had so personally identified with brought back to life like this. Dirti Speshuls are re-inventing this sound in exciting & compelling ways for a whole new generation now…and for the sound itself…maybe today’s world will be a much better time for it to exist.
Rob Cooper and Jon Vornbrock, guitarists for Dirti Speshuls deserve a lot of credit for some excellent & completely fitting guitar work. “Gotta Go,” the opening track on Long Time Coming just rips along these crunchy guitar lines as Carter delivers hauntingly melodic vocals. The breakdowns, the solos…the intense drums from Dean Wilson…this opening track sets the standard high and Dirti Speshuls come out of the cage like the bars themselves couldn’t hold them in any longer. That excitement, intensity…that hunger, desire & confidence…it makes for a completely infectious listen; what I want in my alternative music is all right here on this disc.
“Come On Kid” was the song that took this band from a possible fluke opening to an “oh-my-god-these-guys-are-the-REAL-thing” assuredness. This track cuts, chops, starts & stops before it blazes along with frantic energy, proving that there’s much more at work here than simple, straight ahead rock. Dirti Speshuls are pushing all the boundaries and creating excellent inventive sounds. “Come On Kid” is a standout track for the bass of Rick Beres, as is “Tried & True” the melodic, slow-burning track to follow.
I’m trying to imagine a young Raine Maida…a young Gord Downie…a young Ryan Dahle…a young Todd Carter…how do these people find the courage and the confidence to continuing doing what they do to bring us these excellent innovative sounds, I’ll never know. I’m trying to imagine them all starting out…I can only imagine it would have been an amusing reaction for years and years before people caught onto the sound. To make music this full of life, as it is on Long Time Coming, I also only imagine the reward is worth the waiting.
I’ve gotta watch myself here…I could literally go on forever about just how much I like the sound of this band…
“Carry On” is a standout example of Dirti Speshuls at their finest; this track builds & lets go, then rebuilds before ripping into the manic chorus. Just fantastic guitar work on this track; it uses fairly simple rhythms in a glorious combination in a track that’s the musical equivalent of a celebratory fireworks display. Carter delivers his shakily-confident vocals with true-indie style, and then drops the shake completely in the track to follow, “Out On Your Own,” as the entire band comes out to attack full-scale in the final tracks of Long Time Coming.
Closing on the energetic “Never The Same” was the perfect choice. In this punky-alternative cut, the guitars come piercing through in all the right ways as Carter reverts back to his own frantic & signature style for this final track, fitting in once again as oddly-perfect as throughout the rest of this album. This final burst of energy…this marathon of bass & drums and desperation in the vocals…all wrapped in this fireball of a final track bode well not just for repeated listens, but also for the bright & tight musical future that lies clearly ahead of them.
It may have been a Long Time Coming, but perhaps the time for this sound truly is now.
Seriously – check out this album by Dirti Speshuls at: https://dirtispeshuls.bandcamp.com/
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