2 Dec 2022

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

The Dirty Tones - Album Review: Can't Stop

02 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark

The Dirty Tones' Can’t Stop is a ballsy collection of solid blues songs, but the attitude is less morose introspection and a little more punk.

The music slips neatly into the genre, operating exactly as you might imagine after reading the band’s bio or seeing a video of them live. This collection jumps right off with Can’t Stop Drinkin' Blues (perhaps the title track for the album that no doubt could not be named as such) and the song is pure Road house blues. It's an unapologetic, pro-drinking anthem. Vodka, gin and whiskey make an appearance while Tony 'Big T' Bullen extols the joys and dangers of over indulgence. It’s all predictable, but it's also fun and (from what I see online), a great song for live settings.

K Road Blues features a little influence from Dunedin-pop with a dream pop chord thrown in, but the song remains firmly in the blues world. This song is yet another tune about alcohol abuse and memory loss – but there’s something silly about the debauchery. The lyrics "Wearing someone else's underwear" might cause a cackle at a live venue if nothing else. Again, it's hard to tell if the song is warning or celebrating late night behaviour and perhaps it doesn’t matter – these songs are not cautionary tales.

Next up, Finding Love has some gorgeous high guitar leads with a short spring reverb a la Sun Records. This is purist blues, but the lack of rhyming lines is a little off putting. Emma Barton contributes vocals in the response of "Sweet love", making an uplifting, feel good song.

The real break out song here is Troll, and my personal favourite from the collection. The song leads up to a crescendo while Big T Bullen warns us: "he will take your soul, he’s the king of trolls". It's a fantastic song but perhaps the least bluesy of the bunch.

Dance With You features a nice little interlude before the song kicks in properly, returning to the blues but containing the most heartfelt lyrics. A rarity it would seem for the band.

Dark Desire almost begins with the forbidden riff of Stairway to Heaven, but it melts into a slow, lounge blues number that is sultry.

Cryin' Rain has a little more bite – the tone of the guitar is crunchy, the vocals a little more gritty. “Nobody cares and nothing is changing” spits Big T like George Thorogood.

Free is single material – catchy but a little angsty. "You don’t own me, you don’t know me ... I’m not yours". It all sounds a little like a husband talking to a spouse, but that might be presumptive. The song has a really impressive and expressive guitar solo played with a bright jazzy setting.

Keep Me Warm closes the album with an interesting non-blues intro, utilizing harmonics, but soon the band relaxes back into its bluesy formula where they both feel comfortable as players and shine as musicians. Unfortunately, the lyrics are a little too similar to the last song; "You say you love me, but do you know me that well?". However, there’s something hopeful about the simple poetry of "I don’t need saving, I’m alright" ending the collection of songs.

While the lyrics are a little predictable, the blues is played with feel, and the listener is certainly given what they expect with such influences so clearly evident from the first bar of music. Here the band covers a little more territory than most blues-based bands; there are female vocals, sad songs, amusing lines, clever guitar solos and unapologetic moments of opposition throughout. Even the title of the album is oppositional.

It's not the type of music for close scrutiny anyway, I can imagine it being played live in a bar or blues festival or in the background in a mechanics garage. The Dirty Tones do what they are expected to do very well indeed. You get what you see on the packaging, so to speak.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About The Dirty Tones

The Dirty Tones are all about "Blues Rock at its Dirty Best", delivering a range of blues rock styles with high energy delivering a whole river of party. Their original song Can’t Stop Drinkin' Blues has had global radio play and the band has been in the top 10 of the Global Blues Artist chart, so far peaking at 4.

The Dirty Tones consists of Tony 'Big T' Bullen, Mark 'Fatt Max' Hill, John 'Wilksy' Wilks and Reggie Miller. Their influences are The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, George Thorogood, The Doors and The Velvet Underground, some soul, some funk and some punk!

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Dirty Tones


Can't Stop
Year: 2022
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Nicholas Clark

Bevan Mical - Single Review: Cuts Through The Years
21 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
Cuts Through The Years is a jolly, breezy single by multi-instrumentalist, Bevan Mical. The song begins with a two-chord sequence on acoustic guitar, but there's something exotic about the chords are instruments that support the verse.
GiGi Genie - EP Review: Seasons of The Soul / Wa O Te Wairua
21 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
Seasons of The Soul or Wa O Te Wairua, is a collection of songs by multi-instrumentalist and self-described folk noir artist GiGi Genie. The group is led by songwriter GiGi Crayford and her support band which includes flautists, violinists, zither and percussion players.
Ben Horlock - Single Review: Don't Wait On Me
21 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
Ben Horlock (Ngati Porou/Te Arawa) is a pop artist from Dunedin who has an ear for a great pop melody, a knack for moody blues guitar lines, and the kind of voice talent scouts are always listening out for. His latest release Don’t Wait on Me features the prominent high hat of modern trap music coming out of Atlanta, an ambient synth lifted from a goth club track, with some deep bass chords to anchor it all together.
Hans Pucket - Album Review: No Drama
21 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
Wellington four-piece Hans Pucket is the kind of band you really should get into now (if you haven’t already) and see live before they become massive. That is, if the world is fair and allows these musicians to succeed at their art form because they really are incredibly good at what they do - and that’s writing beautiful, clever, unusual songs that seem to be for and inspired by uncertain times.
ABRZY - Album Review: 80 Different Ways II
18 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
ABRZY (sometimes referred to as Breezy) is a rapper who has quickly made a name for himself for not only his distinctive, rapid flowing delivery but his unique style that blends influences from Bengali culture. Above all, this release is genuine.
Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Valhalla, Wellington - 12/11/2022
14 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
There was a palpable energy in Valhalla on Saturday night; something akin to an orchestra warming up before an opera or athletes preparing for a big game. Before the first act, standing patrons were clamouring for the front line to enjoy three fantastic (and quite different) rock bands.
House of Bonnie Presents @ Valhalla, Wellington - 10/11/2022
12 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
While Wellington’s Valhalla can often seem the perfect venue for dark and brutal music with the Viking themed attire, steep black walls, not to mention imposing decals (including some surviving Halloween decorations), the bar was all colour and light on Thursday evening when Sodalight, REID, Happy Two and Burnt Out Graduate came to brighten the corners. The event had been organised by The House of Bonnie; an organiser who regularly puts on pop shows that are often related to Massey University creative art graduates.
Curlys Jewels - Single Review: Criminal
06 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
Curlys Jewels' Criminal begins with one hell of a riff inspired by the glory days of 90’s grunge, but produced with a little more bite giving it a metallic vibe. I instantly thought of Alice in Chains, not only as an influence on the song but also as another band that drew heavily from both genres.
View All Articles By Nicholas Clark

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Sam Smith And Kim Petras
    Taylor Swift
    Meghan Trainor
    Drake And 21 Savage
    David Guetta And Bebe Rexha
    Oliver Tree And Robin Schulz
    Chris Brown
  • 685 (REMIX)
    Victor J Sefo, Lisi And Mwayz
    venbee And goddard.
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem