Dirt Box Disco

Burton-on-Trent’s finest and most prolific music makers Dirt Box Disco are back with a clutch of new songs, and we at RR have been given the dubious honour of reviewing. Right then, here goes: on the back of 2015’s “Only In It For The Money” LP I did seriously wonder where they were gonna go next. Higher up the bill at Rebellion Punk Festival every year and bigger crowds year on year I always wondered, how can they better that? Well, album number 5 is a great place to start. Sticking with the principles that have served them so well they have created yet another masterpiece; 13 songs, chock full of noodling, crass humour, anthems and an all-round feel-good factor.

This collection opens with the affectionately titled “The Bullshit Kids” and all the elements are on show early doors. “Woah’s” in abundance on the intro, noodling aplenty and then those humourous vocals (Weab) kick in. Self-deprecating lyrical content (no real surprise there then), over some racy guitar parts matched to powerful hitting. The now trademark noodly bridge doesn’t go unnoticed and it’s a great intro song. “Fingerblast” opens with a Skids-esque guitar part and cymbal-led drumming from sticksman (Maff). Hilarious lyrics and a chorus which I’m sure will be sung long and loud in the live arena. More noodling aplenty before those wonderfully hilarious lyrics return once more.

“Punk Rock Riot” has a fussy, Buzzcocks-esque intro (circa Trade Test Transmissions), before the chiming guitars give way to a loud, shouty chorus. A tale of school memories and the outcome of challenging authority. Maff’s hitting is hard and heavy to begin with and remains powerful throughout. The noodling becomes somewhat stretched in the bridge before those chimey chords return latterly until its conclusion. Those “Shelley/Diggle” guitars remain on “Little White Lie” which is much more melodic and poppy. The bridge this time hints at their occasional mid-80’s Rock leanings, but doesn’t last and the song just fades to the end.

“Working for Wankers” -indeed! The shimmering guitars complete a trio of Buzzcocks-inspired songs and its smack bang into that anthemic chorus. It’s a tale of working life at least some of us will be all too familiar with and can relate to. That noodling is ever present in the bridge before it reaches its conclusion. A shoe-in for their live shows with that chorus alone and some “Sputnik-esque” guitars to close. “Fat Kid” begins with a Post/Punk guitar intro which precedes a heavier guitar and drum section. The awkward yet honest lyrics pull no punches – no half measures here. The swirling guitars in the bridge become more sinister as the lyrics become less polite and more brutal. The heavy hitting sits uncomfortably behind the now anthemic chorus to its conclusion.

Dirt Box Disco
“Snorting Crack From A Girls Top Rack” is a 2 minute epic. Racy frenetic hitting and equally fast picking with the DBD imprint all over it. I dare anybody to try and recite the chorus when singing along at gigs. The Steel Panther comparisons will come thick and fast but these guys have taken the genre to a whole new level. Multiple vocal layers and stretched guitars with noodling aplenty-it’s Punk alright, but with tinges of Metal. ‘Lazy Bastard’ begins with a noodly guitar intro before those hilarious, storytelling lyrics kick in. It would be remiss of me to suggest it’s an autobiographical song but I hope it is! Standout lyric: “Everybody knows I can’t look after myself, can’t be fuckin’ arsed cos I’m a lazy bastard” – kinda says it all really!

“Slapdash and Haphazard” is an anthemic singalong with heavy bass and guitars and huge snare hitting. Lyrically I’m somewhat confused but it’s a worthy entry on this collection. A couple of noodlefests don’t go unnoticed and the song ending is great. Back to the “Woah, Woah, Woah” intro’s on “Geronimo” before this racy lil’ tune kicks into life. A fast number with heavy bass and frenetic drums, it won’t win any lyric of the year awards but stays just below the 3-minute epic Punk song format. More Woah’s again during “Imaginery Friend”. It’s a humorous little ditty with crunchy guitars and fierce hitting. “Woah, Woah, Way oh”… you get the picture!

“Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid” returns to the fast and furious with big hitting from Maff and angry vocal accompaniment from Spunk (guitar/vox). Ever so slightly repetitive but never dull, the noodly bridge this time making the song faster to its conclusion. “I Hate This City” has a Clash-esque guitar intro and a semi dub/reggae beat before the damning lyrics form the main part of the song. However, it finds its sea legs and goes into overdrive. Wah Wah guitars stretch to breaking point before returning to the mellower pace. It’s another storytelling song about one’s hatred of their city and again explodes into life-the perfect LP closer. A real departure from their usual output and maybe a nod to a future song style.

It really is hard to ignore a band this good and I’m still waiting for the “difficult” album (insert figure where you see fit)!! Each time they come back with a clutch of stadium filling anthems – I just wish more of the buying public would take notice, then they will be filling stadiums. Poppycock? Nope, nothing like it!

Track Listing
The Bullshit Kids
Punk Rock Riot
Little White Lie
Working For Wankers
Fat Kid
Snorting Crack From A Girls Top Rack
Lazy Bastard
Slapdash And Haphazzard
Imaginary Friend
Somethings Are Better Left Unsaid
I Hate This City


Words by Ross A Ferrone

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