When it was first announced that ex Dokken / Lynch Mob guitarist GEORGE Lynch was teaming up with Croatian powerhouse vocalist DINO JELUSIC I for one was eager to hear the end results, and without a shadow of doubt this debut album is simply stunning.
Try to imagine classic era Rainbow and Ronnie fronted Sabbath and that should give everyone a rough idea what this outfit is all about. Traditional classic rock is enjoying a resurgence over the last few years, bands like DIRTY SHIRLEY help keep the flame burning brightly.
This four-piece outfit are rounded off with TREVOR ROXX Bass and WILL HUNT, Drums. The sound of a cowbell heralds the start of opening song HERE COMES THE KING and the first introduction to Dino and those inspiring vocals. Clocking in at nearly seven minutes, set at a mid-tempo with a breakdown half way through that makes way for George Lynch to weave the first of many magic moments. The track has elements of the heavier side of Whitesnake and is a proper statement of intent.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8hSpK4oK2Q&w=560&h=315]
DIRTY BLUES displays a few back ground samples and a tiny touch of funk and swagger but generally sticks to the classic rock format with its catchy chorus and groove laden drums, a short sharp slab of good time rock.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9cPMNI4JS0&w=560&h=315]
I DISAPPEAR takes a left turn with its approach by adding a few modern sounding twists and turns with a slightly different vocal approach. This song works so well coming across as a very grimy track with slight changes of tempo ,listening to the extended guitar solo on this song is almost painful due to the fact the sound and noises coming from George Lynch are ridiculous, it teeters on the edge of falling to pieces and being a disaster but that is the idea with the great man in total control just pushing the solo to its very limit.
THE DYING with its soft Spanish sounding intro builds into a heavy style ballad underpinned with more Flamenco sounding acoustic guitar that offers the listener a chance to catch their breath after the previous three songs. Personally, I think the song fits perfectly in the running order and shows a more sensitive side to the group.
Most catchy track is SIREN SONG with its simple drum beat and fast pace, its chorus packs a punch that gets stuck in your head proving a less technically performed song can sometimes come across as refreshing and leave its mark and that is certainly the case with SIREN SONG
COLD once again displays a tiny amount of funk buried in the rubble of a monster rock song, Dino is such an awesome vocalist and this song alone proves he has a bright future ahead and is sure to be in high demand from many musicians. Making this track his very own incorporating many styles and many vocal ranges, spitting out the line “I feel so cold” like he is spitting out a mouthful of poison.
ESCALATOR again is a solid track with all four members contributing with a back ground riff that reminds me of something that Led Zeppelin were known for doing on occasions. Not to be over shadowed by the vocal performance on this album, Mr Lynch pulls out his most melodic and heartfelt solo on the record so far.
Rounding things off we get HIGHER and GRAND MASTER two tracks that contrast hugely, with the former being more a traditional sounding song while the latter has a Indian acoustic feel to it, although a very old school sounding group they seem to enjoy throwing in the occasional curve ball into the proceedings.
I for one enjoyed this album from start to finish and back to the start again. Let’s hope DIRTY SHIRLEY don’t turn out to be a one album wonder and Frontiers get them to do a follow up album in a couple of years time because the rock world needs more DIRTY SHIRLEYS.
Review by Steve Bruty for MPM