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Dirty Lions - 'Raw'

posted 14 Oct 2014, 13:37 by Paul Woodward


Review by Woody

I think the debut album from British rockers Dirty Lions is aptly named as there is something innately raw about it. Dirty Lions started life as a vehicle for vocalist Michelle Gimenez Alder and Medicine Hat’s Mark ‘Dusty’ Wright before they enlisted lead Guitarist Ken Day and Medicine Hat’s rhythm section of Gary Bowler (Drums) and Laurie Dalziel (Bass) to complete their line-up.

It is very hard to pigeonhole them musically as they do mix it up a little bit in the structure and flow of their songs. In essence though Dirty Lions are a laid back rhythm and blues band who could have very easily stepped out of the early seventies era of American blues infused rock music. Raw though does add some less than straight forward touches to it that blues fans may be unused to, like some rap style vocals and funky bass lines on ‘Tiger’ for example.

I’ve been listening to a lot of female singers lately and most of it has been really good but most importantly the variation in styles has been very exciting for me as a listener. Alder is from the Janis Joplin school of classic rock with big powerful vocals. Her voice is really sultry and seductive, there’s something intensely sexual about her vocal style. She was definitely born to sing the blues and whilst Joplin is the obvious famous comparison, but on one song I hear a slight Gwen Stefani vibe and on others I get a Amy Winehouse feel – it all depends on the nature of the song as like I previously stated this isn’t a straight blues album they have mixed up their influences and spiced it up a bit.

Wright and Day’s guitar playing owes a lot to those famous African American blues guitarist’s of the fifties and sixties. Their style is very simplistic and laid back but highly effective in its rawness. It’s an album best enjoyed in its entirety I feel so you can fully appreciate the ebbs and flows of the various feelings of each individual song. The most commercial songs open the album in ‘Counting The Line’s’ and ‘Roller Coaster’ but the song order does have a live set list order to it and I can imagine this going down well in a smoky bar room with people tapping their tables.

This album may not be for everyone it is very laid back and blues roots heavy but it is an enjoyable and well crafted collection of songs superbly performed by some very talented musicians so is sure to be popular with the fans of the Blues and Classic Rock bands in general from the seventies era.

Track Listing: Counting The Lines / Roller Coaster / Shivers / Guitar Man / Shoot Me Down / Tiger / Moon Dancer / Skarabic / Bad Day

Album Rating: 6/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Roller Coaster