Sunday, June 2, 2013

Then and Now - Movements by The Dirty Streets

In October 2011 I reviewed the then just released 2nd album by The Dirty Streets. Movements was self released digitally and just recently was published on vinyl by Bilocation Records. The vinyl release has gotten the band noticed a lot lately as well as their US tour with Radio Moscow last year. They are also about to release their 3rd album through Alive Naturalsound Records on July 9th. I thought I'd take this time to look back on Movements and see how it's held up for me over the past few years.

I originally reviewed the album for The Soda Shop. In my review I wrote:

"About a year ago I discovered a band from Memphis, TN called The Dirty Streets. Their sound is hard 70′s southern rock. They released an album in 2009 called Portrait of A Man, that, at the time, was tough to find. As great an album as it was, it wasn’t the complete package for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it and played it so many times that the image from the album’s cover was burned in my eyes. Fast forward a year later and the band is about to release their follow up album, Movements.
Vocalist Justin Toland has a voice that reminds me of a mix between Leslie West (Mountain), Burton Cummings (The Guess Who), and to a point, Sam Velde (Night Horse).  The vocals are certainly a strong point. They’re very soulful and full of energy and give Movements that extra element that can make or break an album. In this case it certainly makes it. Vocals aren’t everything though. The instruments are just as strong. Justin’s guitar is just as equally good, bassist Thomas Storz certainly can kick it with the best as you can hear some pretty mean riffs and the beat gets stuck in your head. Andrew Denham’s drums sound basic but they certainly get the job done without all the extra pizazz that some bands go for.

Movements has a nice warm 70′s and southern and classic rock feel to it. There are plenty of great guitar riffs, the vocals are excellent and it’s easy to get quite a few of the beats stuck in your head. It has a familiar but yet unique sound. It’s modern but yet feels so 1970-ish, even the artwork has a certain aspect that screams 1970′s. This is a highlight album for 2011. We all know that modern rock radio today is crap and missing something. The Black Crowes are one of the few modern bands that make it somewhat enjoyable. Since they’re on hiatus someone needs to step up and fill that void. I believe that The Dirty Streets are one of those bands that are certainly capable of filling that void."

So, has it held up? Of course it has. A Bandcamp download was graciously submitted to me back in 2011. Haste makes waste and no time was wasted in listening to Movements. I was struck in awe from the moment the music started until the moment it ended. The album wound up in my top 10 for 2011 I liked it that much. The digital copy has not left my iPhone since day one. I listen to it in spurts. I'll go through it a few times then move on to other albums but I do go back to it often.

What makes it so great? Well the bluesy and classic rock overtones for beginners. The band's style may not be the most original but it is the most unique. At times they channel the likes of Cream, Hendrix and newer bands such as The Black Crowes and Howlin' Rain. The thing about The Dirty Streets, they don't try nor do they sound like they're trying to copy anyone else. The band plays together as if it was what they were born to do. They're doing it well too. The writing on Movements is catchy. There aren't many songs on the album that don't get stuck in your head.

Here we are nearly 18 months from the release and the album has stood the test of time, for me at least. They have a sound that will never grow old or tiresome. The real question though, how will it stand up against their newest release? I haven't heard it yet but I will most certainly let you know when I do.

--Bill Goodman

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