Dirt Box Disco

Six years in and already on LP number 4, Britain’s most prolific Punk band are back with this potent offering-inspiringly titled “Only In It For The Money”. With a title like that one could be forgiven for thinking these guys are considering throwing in the towel and enjoying one final hurrah. But, just one listen to this collection reveals why this band are so revered in Punk music circles. After the difficult 3rd album “Bloonz”, which didn’t blow this reviewer away; this quintet return once more with fire in their bellies and a clutch of balls-out, energetic anthems.

Opening with the brilliant “Guestlist” they set about taking their rightful place back at the summit of all things Punk. It’s that old favourite pastime-trying to gain entry to a venue when confronted by officious doorstaff, we’ve all been there! Shouty, loud and anthemic from the outset, it sets the tone for what follows. In the live arena this will be sung long and loud. Classic 3rd generation guitar lines fight for space alongside those frenetic drumbeats. Spunk and Weab bellow the vocals at breakneck speed and at less than 2 minutes it’s the classic Punk opener. The “stretched” middle 8 I’m sure will allow the “singers” to catch their breath when playing live but it’s that whole rabble-rousing chorus that simply reels you in. “The Art of Conversation” has a great guitar intro that wouldn’t be out of place on a SLF record. Staying with the power the vocals are clear and direct, delivered with brutal honesty. One wonders if this song was written from a personal standpoint, or is just pure fiction. The anger, spite and bile in the chorus would suggest it’s the former! The middle 8 echoes hints of Big Country but the influences end there. The big hitting remains right til’ the very end as the song finishes.

Dirt Box Disco

“Fat Twats and Scumbags” begins with a humourous aside lifted from “Oliver” but stays in the same angry vein. A hard-hitting pop at the rich/poor divide. Crunchy guitars and shouty vocals are the staple here – “you’re living in a palace and I’m dressed in rags, Fat Twats and Scumbags”! If ever there was a line to sum things up this is it. However, I think we can rule out daytime radio should this be released as a single! The “Electro” sound created in the middle 8 is impressive but the song ends almost as it begins. “Something In My Eye” is hilarious lyrically amid those fuzzy guitars. In fact I cant imagine a straight face when this song is played! Once again I’m thinking, is it a personal account or just that of a wild imagination? Noodly guitars, effortless hitting but a tad overlong, saved only by a great ending.

“I Don’t Wanna Know Your Name” – another DBD “lovesong” maybe. A frenetic pace throughout amid swirling guitars, ferocious hitting and anthemic vocals. An infectious chorus you’ll be humming along at work or during your daily routine! At a little shy of 90 seconds it’s the perfect mid-album “short”, but no less important. “Crushed” welcomes back those “oh so popular” “woah, woah, woah’s” we’ve come to expect from DBD. It’s a catchy, Punky lil’ number with a fast beat, big hitting and equally big vocals. Definitely one for the moshpit and the more energetic among us.

Dirt Box Disco

When a band insists on including their name in their songs one could argue a certain arrogance. However, DBD do it with a level of humour that sees them get away with it every time. As with “Dirtbox Days”, “At The Dirtbox Disco” is just a simple but effective way of encouraging those big singalongs live. Those fuzzy guitars return before Spunk retorts the “Woah’s” once more. It’s big, it’s bold and above all a crowd pleaser. Huge drums from Maff sit behind a big wall of sound. There’s a sinister vocal part in the middle before the angry, frenetic beat returns. “If You Want A Sexy Bird…” has the slowest, mellowest of intro’s, before exploding into the powerful noisefest of the chorus. There’s an interesting delve into a Ska beat in the mid section, which is unusual. In fact it detracts from the now obvious “cussing” in the chorus. It’s humourous and again I’m wondering which band member was so inspired to write these lyrics? I’ll leave that to you, the listener!

“Please Don’t Walk Away” starts all loud and anthemic (there’s a theme here)! Lots of “Hey’s” on this one wonders, another story of lost love/relationship trouble. Heartfelt honest lyrics from a Punk band? Surely not?! Another easy to learn chorus that’s a tad repetitive, but no less important to this collection. The song has all the classic DBD elements we have come to expect. Speedball guitars are the star of the show here amid the big chorus/singalongs. Which leads on to another classic. “Really Fast Car”, while a tad predictable in it’s title and a little obvious. That said it motors along (sic) at a pace with more noodling in the middle. We’ve all wanted that “Really Fast Car” at some point in our lives so this will put a smile on the listeners faces. Pacey, energetic with again, a great singalong chorus to match the powerful hitting and power chords. A song for “Boy Racers” maybe?!

Dirt Box Disco

“Cry Myself To Sleep” stays in the personal camp – another ode to lost love. I’m reminded of the Buzzcocks in the guitars and the theme of the song is heartfelt and honest throughout. The drumming is powerful while Weab stretches his vocal somewhat. Once again the chorus becomes a bit repetitive, but is remedied with another great ending. “Day After Tomorrow” is classic “New Wave Punk”. It wont be entering Lyric of the Year but is a bouncy little number that trundles along nicely and has another great ending.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding for the LP highlight, “Ladyboyz”! Here we go again, DBD humour in full flow once more! Steel Panther aside there really is no-one who can get away with lyrics like these. One can just imagine the whole band laughing their heads off when demo-ing this; “Oh what a shock, you’re just a girl with a cock” – “Oh what a trick, you’re just a girl with a dick” – “Sexy, sexy Ladyboyz”….. This may be the band at their humourous finest and you wont forget these lyrics in a hurry. Simply excellent-tongue firmly in cheek and great fun!

To end they leave us with “All Day Long”. Opening with some 3rd generation Punk guitars this “chart friendly” number sees more “woah’s” and singalongs. An intricate middle 8 vies for space amid the clear, audible vocals. The guitars however just continue to grow bigger throughout the song, along with the singalongs, right up until the end.

To sum up, this album is a triumpohant return to form from Burton-on-Trent’s favourite sons. All the elements are contained here, nothing is left out. But I have to reiterate once more, this band are prolific in their output. I do hope there’s plenty more in the tank-if this collection is a yardstick then we needn’t worry.


Track Listing
Guestlist (explicit)
The Art of Conversation (explicit)
Fat Twats and Scumbags (explicit)
Something in My Eye
I Don’t Wanna Know Your Name
DirtBox Disco
If You Want A Sexy Bird Join A Fuckin’ Band (explicit)
Please Don’t Walk Away
Really Fast Car
Cry Myself To Sleep
Day After Tomorrow
All Day Long

Review by Ross “Not a Ladyboy” Ferrone.

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