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Dirt Mall: Got The Goat By The Horns

Hailing from Boston, Dirt Mall is a simple rock and roll band or so their promo material states with some humility and the smile of the Alice's Cheshire cat. This young band includes Johnny Anguish on guitars and vocals, Jason Murray on lead guitar, and the rhythm section is formed by Jamie Griffith on bass and Derek Madeiros on drums. They admit to be influenced by AC/DC, The Replacements, Wolfmother, The Cult, and Black Sabbath. That's quite a range of genres. But as they say, regarding comparisons, they may be 'setting expectations way too high.' Essentially, what have you on their debut release 'Got The Goat By The Horns' is a rough and ready crew playing some melodic hard rock with an undercurrent of post-punk, garage band sensibility. In the end, I found it refreshing and a whole lot of fun.

At first listen, you may say that production and mixing is out the door here. But, I say this is raw and rowdy rock without inhibitions. At times, Johnny Anguish reminds me of Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols without the growling angst and the end of a heroin needle stuck in his forearm. He's clear, strong, brash and enormously convincing. Disregarding their humble, self-effacing rhetoric, these guys can compose good songs and play well. Murray is especially significant on a song like 'The Demons & The Damned.' Throughout, he can as much rip and roar as he can be subtle. This song is in the middle of the album and I'm becoming a very interested fan. When it comes to some straight up rock you cannot overlook the long-titled 'I'm Not Saying What You Did Was Wrong But Your Timing Could Have Been Better.' Do I hear some Ramones here? Or Black Crowes? Murray definitely steals some licks from Jimmy Page on this compelling track. The final cut 'Ghosts Descend' is entirely unexpected: nearly psychedelic, it mixes rock with atmospheric beauty. Actually, the best part may be the distorted amp at the end, but that only puts the icing on the cake.

Weekly, I get music from around the world. Dirt Mall left me surprised and impressed. Their feigned humility is their best asset only because they have songs and talent to back it up. Dirt Mall's 'Got The Goat By The Horns' is an extremely fine effort from a promising band. The only flaw in this work is that it is too short. Yet, what they have done is quite impressive. Very recommended!

In Short

Dirt Mall plays some great post-punk, modern American rock, plain and simple. I found it to refreshing and satisfying. The only real flaw is that it was too short. However, it is definitely worth the effort to visit their web site and purchase 'Got The Goat By The Horns.'

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