They're alright, but they ain't no Buckcherry...
American quartet Dirty Rig formed in 2003, recording their debut album, 'Blood, Sweat and Beer Makes America Strong', in 2004 with original vocalist Ed Sebastian; but after Sebastian's departure and seeing the re-vamped Warrior Soul play at the Continental, bass player Buckshot set his sights on Kory Clarke as Dirty Rig's new front man. Clarke eventually accepted, and the rest (as they say) is history. Now, hot on the heels of the re-release of Warrior Soul's five album back catalogue, Clarke's debut with the Manhattan-based punk-metal-meets-rock 'n' rollers is set to hit the shelves on July 21st through Escapi Music.
During his time with Warrior Soul Kory Clarke has been admired for his 'artful' rock politics and described as 'angry, thoughtful and edgy' – the same can certainly not be said for Kory Clarke as the front man of Dirty Rig, whose politically incorrect references to sex and drugs see a positive return to ground-floor level rock 'n' roll. Perhaps Dirty Rig's guitarist Chas Banellis sums things up most succinctly, "Dirty Rig is my drug," he explains, "it's my high; straight up kick-ass rock 'n' roll. Playing in this band brings me right back to the days when I first heard Metallica. It makes you want to get wasted and get your girlfriend naked." Fair enough, you might think, a good aim for any sleazy rock 'n' roll band is to make people want to get naked... but do Dirty Rig succeed? Well, put it this way, I've still got all my clothes on.
Dirty Rig should be fantastic - they've got all the elements necessary: they've got the controversial band name, they've got the risqué song titles and, from the promising start of 'Suck It' (see what I mean?), they appear to have the perfect sleazy garage-metal sound. 'Dogs' is the first track to really unleash a big, convincing and powerful performance with its scuzzy guitars and an impressive wailing solos that rolls into the punky hooks and pounding drums of the title track, 'Rock Did It'. Perhaps the album's standout track, though, is the infectious 'Throw Down', a fun, no nonsense rock 'n' roll classic with an inescapable metal chug and more twiddling solos. Clarke's voice also comes into its own here sounding like a worse-for-wear Josh Todd with a double shot of Quireboys main-main Spike Gray's characteristic gravely rasp.
But the rest of the album I'm sad to say fails to live up to expectations; maybe it's meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek, but there's really nothing attractive about the way Clarke growls and grunts through 'Drunk Again', which (catchy as it might be) simply sounds like a bad rip-off of a Buckcherry song. While the deep down and dirty bass and guitars of 'Suck It', 'Just A Star', 'Hot Porno Star' and the bluesy, 'If You See Kay' are great examples of fuzzy metal-influenced garage rock 'n' roll, lyrically they leave a lot to be desired, and give the impression that Dirty Rig are following the recipe for a clichéd rock song just a little too closely.
Ultimately, 'Rock Did It' isn't a bad album necessarily... it just isn't a particularly great one either. If you were looking for a good punk metal rock 'n' roller, I'd buy the new Buckcherry album.