Review by Sheldon Hubbard
Ian Forester and Drew Shreve, the Dirty Dirty duo have created an album that feels like you are climbing up a ladder: while going up rung by rung, you are a little nervous and excited for what’s about to come. It’s pulled by the instantaneous ignition of Forester’s engulfing voice. Made whole by the fuzzy toned bass and Shreve’s kicks, clicks, and clashes. Blasting you full force into their debut LP, Anxious Electric Auto Erupt.
The song “Root Canal” establishes their sound as a base of plump, explosive punk roots that stretches into the sonic beyond. Progressing past their first EP, Deadline (2017), you can tell their sound has blossomed. Becoming more of an elegant insanity. On Anxious Electric Auto Erupt, “Pretty Boy Trash” channels a more hardcore punk spirit, albeit without the down tuning. Sharp-skinned bass and a loud cymbal slap initiates thrashing, oscillate sound waves. Forester’s droning vocals sting with as much chaotic precision as he and Shreve’s instrumentation. A winsome wreckage of rhythmic and tonal bleeds may deter some from catching onto the overall mood that Dirty Dirty is trying to display. Something that doesn’t stay held to the confines of a garden variety garage punk outfit, but rather, something that takes fuzzy, heavy-toned rock and gives it further avenue.
That’s when “Off You Fuck” creeps up. A drowned and distant progression that gives curvature to a track trickling in reminiscence of MSI and AFI. Industrial-driven ballistics bolt together a whirling outro that would spin the head of even the edigest punk enthusiast. “Emotional Whatever Things” radios in to keep this fabulous fury floatin’. Pounding and slicing through its allllllllmost two minutes. For some reason, I imagine Shadow (yes, the Dark Hedgehog) stackin’ up rings and blastin’ through back alleys. Bringing with him a wake of dumpster-melting, pedal-punching hysteria, and glass-blasting wails. Soon halted by the lulling, tentative swirl of notes in the intro to “Creature Comfort." From the background you hear Forester approve of the seemingly uncertain strum; only to screech forward into a thick, potent swing.
“Changing the Narrative” kinda does exactly that. Pacing down to a drab tempo and introducing what proves to be a glistening gothic interlude. This is one of two tracks to feature a vocalist other than Forester - Danny Denial, a Seattle contemporary to Dirty Dirty. You really notice the smoothed out influence of Danny’s attribution to the track. Imagine the hazy fluidity of CCR’s “Born on the Bayou” absorbing the essence of some of Seattle’s most refined grunge grooves. “Running in High Heels” is the other track with a guest vocalist. The addition of Intisaar Jubran's voice creates a full sound that allows the track to envelope you. This is a stretch of a song and sets its place on the record stoutly. It isn’t necessarily the loudest track, or most climactic; but possesses a keen display of Dirty Dirty’s apt maneuverability within the sound revolution.
Seattle punk rockers have always found a way to stay brazen in the best kind of way. Keeping a similar spirit but evolving and projecting it in a way that can feel fresh. “Monochromatic Love” is steady and entrancing. It really floats back and forth between your ears. With the bass to locomote the sound, Shreve electrifies and fills out the track’s skeleton. This song leads directly into the final track, “Head Down”. A bombastic ending with frantic, bamming drums explosively colliding with concrete cracking fuzz to round out the LP’s slinky sound structure. The punkest way to finish out a full-length is by totally going blitzkrieg and then just STOPPING the noise. That’ll hang ‘em on the cliff, for real. Dirty Dirty are modern punk artisans who are well on the rise with this magnetizing debut.
When it comes to “punk” music, I feel that it is the ultimate shade of rock n’ roll to really let your freak flag fly. Not in the promiscuous sense, rather in a way that allows you to be the freest version of yourself. Which also means being wholly honest and authentic with yourself. Accounting an experience he shared with YouTube music biographers Band In Seattle: after cycling through drummers, trying to secure a musing connection with another musician, Forester happened to call up Shreve one night for drinks and said, essentially, the rest was history. One Dirty found the new official other Dirty, and this delightful duo procured a synergistic collection of vast and varying noise. You can find Anxious Electric Auto Erupt on pretty much any streaming platform, for purchase (digitally) through bandcamp, Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, or physically through qrates.com (vinyl)! This album is best listened to loudly. Whether you call it metallic garage grunge, prickly pungent goth rock, or deranged heavy fuzz punk, nobody puts Dirty Dirty in a corner...and certainly not in any genre box.