Dirty Thrills – Heavy Living


A groovy, fuzzy monster

This one tried to sneak past on the 15 September 2017, but Allan wasn’t having any of that. Released by Frontiers Music SRL

Formed during a drunken jam night in Wiltshire, Dirty Thrills have actually been around since 2013. This is technically their second album, although it’s the first on their new label Frontiers Music. Support slots with the likes of Europe and The Scorpions coupled with various festival slots have helped push them into the limelight in recent times, and they’re mustering something of a reputation as a live act worth catching, too.

So, what do the London-based quartet actually sound like? Pretty damned good, actually. Frontman Louis James (son of Moody Blues singer Nicky James) struts and wails in front of what can only be described as a heavy, groove-laden 70s-esque rhythm section. It’s bluesy and very old-school, featured fuzzy guitars, thumping drums, and has a solid rhythm and groove to the basslines.

There’s variation in what’s on offer, too – crooners like ‘Lonely Soul’ showcase the fantastic vocal range and delivery with a soulful balladic crooner, but that gets followed up immediately with the stomping re-recording of ‘No Resolve’ from their debut and the band switches into a groovy, fuzzy monster instead.

However, there lies what may be a small issue for people who are already familiar with the band: the production. The original debut was an incredibly gritty, raw affair, and that really suited the vibe that the band were delivering. This time around, it’s been polished and cleaned up a bit – and arguably suffers just a little bit for it. Yes, the band are arguably delivering better songs this time around, with more craft and variation. However, it has taken away a little bit of the edge that the rawness brought, so that’s something to bear in mind.

Having said that – the album’s still a belter, and it’s a minor complaint in the general scheme of things. Songs like ‘Rabbit Hole’ and closer ‘Get Loose’ are great blues-rock tracks, and the funky strut of ‘Drink Words’ is a slow-burner but when it kicks in, it kicks like a mule. There’s a patience and a soulfulness that permeates the tracks, with the star of the show being the frankly superb vocal performance. Well worth a listen.

  1. I’ll Be With You
  2. Go Slow
  3. Law Man
  4. Hanging Around
  5. Lonely Soul
  6. No Resolve
  7. Interlude
  8. The Brave
  9. Rabbit Hole
  10. Drunk Words
  11. Get Loose