Dirt Mall – Got The Goat By the Horns (2007, Daykamp Records)
- Hello Los Angeles
- Medicate (Today)
- Hopeless Bore
- The Demons & The Damned
- Step Up
- I’m Not Saying What You Did Was Wrong But Your Timing Could Have Been Better
- Ghosts Descend
Johnny Anguish – Vocals & Guitars
Jason Murray – Guitars
Jamie Griffith – Bass
Derek Madeiros – Drums
Mike Quinn – Keyboards
Produced by: Dirt Mall
Total Time = 33:57
This is simply the easiest way to describe Waltham, Massachusetts own Dirt Mall. Take a healthy dose of early AC/DC and add a little Punk and you get a fresh take on what current Rock sounds like. Forget all the spit and polish of traditional Hard Rock, Dirt Mall turns the amps up to 10 and bangs away with straight forward three chord precision. The music sounds dated but that is the genius of it all.
When GOT THE GOAT BY THE HORNS crossed my desk, I gave it a spin and wasn’t impressed. I passed Dirt Mall off as a relative of Jet (‘Are You Gonna Ne My Girl’) and Buckcherry…..but then I gave the CD a few extra spins a few weeks later and I realized that the music sounded fresh and different from my initial comparisons. Right in the middle of everything is a sense of melody and solid guitar work that makes songs like album openers ‘Hello Los Angeles’ and ‘Medicate (Today)’ stand out right away. The masterpiece of the album is the 9 minute plus ‘The Demons & The Damned’ that sounds nothing like the rest of the album. Of all the songs, this song is the closest thing you’ll get to traditional Hard Rock, it has a ’70s flavor to it with a guitar part that sounds similar to one in ‘Tonight You Belong To Me’ from the Paul Stanley KISS solo album in ’78. I thought I was hearing things but if you play the Dirt Mall song to the 7 minute mark and chalk up the Paul Stanley tune to the 3:50 mark, the guitar part sounds close. I have no problem with that due to my KISS fanboy ways.
Another refreshing quality from this New England area band is that they are all about fun and not taking things too seriously. Is there a better song title than the Ramones/Led Zeppelin influenced ’I'm Not Saying What You Did Was Wrong But Your Timing Could Have Been Better’? If this song was out 15 years ago, it would have been the soundtrack of my 21st year! Listen for the Jimmy Page lick from ‘Rock ‘N Roll’ halfway through the song. Taking a look inside the cover, the band boldly states that “No goats were harmed during the making of this record”, they call this debut “a landmark recording” and a “musical gift to the world”. For some reason I had a good laugh reading the basic liner notes.
I listen to a lot of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. So much of it, even the most primal Metal, can be slick and polished. Most of the bands take their image and music extremely seriously (insert any band name here) to the point where some of the fun is sacrificed. Listening to this Dirt Mall record reminded me of bands that play just to have fun…..that’s what it’s all about! Dirt Mall isn’t breaking any new ground and they aren’t dazzling us with their over the top image, they are simply playing. Maybe that’s why I like this disc because it is definitely not my usual brand of Rock. Definitely worth checking out.
Favorite Songs: ‘The Demons & The Damned’, ‘Hello Los Angeles’, ‘Medicate (Today)’