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Dirtbombs - Dangerous Magical Noise

  by Andrew Carver

published: 6 / 12 / 2003

Dirtbombs - Dangerous Magical Noise
Label: In the Red Records
Format: CD


Third album from Detroit's the Dirtbombs that "keeps up the rockin’ energy" of their two previous albums, but which pushes "the band’s sound, songwriting and musicianship to even greater heights"

The Dirtbombs’ last album, the all-covers 'Ultraglide in Black' was a tough act to follow, but Mick Collins and company have pulled it off, and with an album of all originals too boot. The album starts with the punchy 'Start the Party' which comes complete with a dubbed-in audience of 1960's vintage screaming girls. Mick Collins pushes his vocals to new heights of versatility, wielding an effective falsetto on leadoff track 'Start the Party', wailing on 'Don’t Break My Heart' and taking a soulful turn on 'Sun is Shining', being smooth’n’sexy on 'Earthquake Heart' — indeed, he shows a new facet on almost every song. The Dirtbombs’ defining feature, apart from Collins’ voice and buzzbomb guitar is its two-drummers-two-bassists rhythm section. Even though one bass functions much like the rhythm guitarist would — on 'Noise' it’s Tom Potter who receives credit for “fuzz”, the band still boasts a heavyweight rhythm. The massive thumping on the appropriately named 'Thunder in the Sky' is a prime example. There are a number of standout songs — 'Motor City Baby', with it’s budget T. Rex guitar riff, can be added to the aforementioned tunes — and only two of middling quality. Unfortunately, the strident 'Stuck In Thee Garage' and the jokey, Jim Diamond -sung 'I’m Through With White Girls' are stuck back-to-back, but their good still outweighs their bad, so there’s barely any mid-album speed bump before you hit the motorvatin’ '21st Century Fox.' 'Dangerous Magical Noise' keeps up the rockin’ energy of previous Dirtbombs albums, improves the band’s sound, songwriting and musicianship to even greater heights — it’s a raging success on all levels. (As an aside, there are allegedly two versions of the album out there: The one I purchased at the band’s show in Ottawa has two bonus tracks, covers of Brian Eno’s 'King’s Lead Hat' and Robyn Hitchcock’s 'Executioner of Love'. The off-kilter duo are far from being throwaways, so get it if you can.)

Track Listing:-
1 Start The Party
2 Get It While You Can
3 Don't Break My Heart
4 Sun Is Shining
5 Earthquake Heart
6 Thunder In The Sky
7 Motor City Baby
8 Stuck In Thee Garage
9 I'm Through With White Girls
10 21st Century Fox
11 Stop
12 Stupid
13 F.I.D.O.
14 King's Hat (Eno)
15 Executioner Of Love (R. Hitchcock)

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Interview (2003)
Dirtbombs - Interview
The Dirtbombs have recorded more records and played more shows than any of versatile Detroit guitarist Mick Collins’ many other groups. Drummer Ben Blackwell chats about their twin bass, twin drum line-up and new album "Dangerous Magical Noise'

live reviews

Babylon, Ottawa,15/4/2008
Dirtbombs - Babylon, Ottawa,15/4/2008
Andrew Carver is impressed by both godfathers of Detroit garage rock, the Dirtbombs, and also support act Kelley Stoltz, at a show at the Babylon in Ottawa
93 Feet East, London, 20/6/2005
Dominion Tavern, Ottawa, 13/11/2003

digital downloads


Party Store (2011)
Fabulous covers album from acclaimed Detroit garage rockers, the Dirtbombs, who have taken 80's and 90's techno classics from their home city and reinjected them with a new lease of life
We Have You Surrounded (2008)

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