Drummer Andrew Denham, bassist Thomas Storz, and guitarist/vocalist Justin Toland may have been tucked into Memphis’ Ardent Studios for the Blades Of Grass sessions, but they didn’t rely on a lot of studio gimmickry to bolster their sound. What you hear sounds raw and immediate – and when some talented friends swing by here and there, it feels like a mid-set sit-in on a sweaty midnight stage.
Do you (or did you) miss the days when Free and Zep roared and stomped the face of the earth and Humble Pie laid it down in a blistering mix of Saturday-night raunch and Sunday-morning soul? Fear not – the Second Coming of such has arrived and kicked the door in. The Dirty Streets have just what you want/need.
Right off the bat, the opener “Stay Thirsty” establishes two facts: Toland’s vocal pipes share some bluesy DNA with those of Paul Rodgers (which ain’t a bad thing) and these lads come by their swagger naturally. And if you need further reinforcement of those facts, the next track – “Talk” – will seal the deal with a walloping tar pit bass line by Storz leading the way. The song implodes into sonic weirdness in the final minute (yes, okay: here you do have some classic creative fader work and panning play, but it’s just what’s called for) before shrinking to a pinpoint of multi-colored mist. “Movements #2” is one of those cuts that would have ended the first side of an LP in the old days: cool hand percussion; tasty acoustic guitar work; a bit of shimmery electric 6-string in the background gazing at its navel and snarling under its breath; and a vocal that pleads a bit without ever sounding weak. Perfect … and you know they’re about to drop the big hammer again when it’s over.
Click HERE to read the conclusion of my Dirty Streets review on Jambands.com