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Dirtblonde – “Token Rose” Review

Dirtblonde are a UK rock duo that hammer their sound right up to the speakers and chug away like the 90’s grunge and 80’s overkill guitar we all love. Their new EP “Token Rose” is a great introduction to the band.

Opener “Token Rose” showcases them at their best with a real blasting with power chords blasting through the speakers and ethereal wavering vocals. It reminds me slightly of a more coherent Cocteau Twins that’s more focused on power than melody. “Broken Glass” goes more for the melody with an acoustic/vocal number that sounds like it’s been recorded purposefully away from the microphones as it has an airy mystical quality to it. “In Furs” however is dirty and seedy with its almost organ like guitar picking over the main three chord riff. What Dirtblonde show in all the five songs is their effortless ability to weave just a couple of chords into something that is much more than the sum of its parts. The vocals are so sad and lethargic and juxtaposed against the harsh guitars and stomping drums, it’s nailed a certain whimsical given-up feeling. “Lonesome Girl” is an overdriven guitar fest with a tambourine attached for good measure. Dank and dirty from beginning to end, I felt like I needed a bath afterwards. The EP closes with “Machine” which is the most produced track with a nifty bass riff and eerie guitar feedback bleeding from ear to ear as the vocal echo on repeat. It creates a great atmosphere.

This is a great EP from a new band that I’m now very much excited over. Dirtblonde show diversity and a knack of making a space of their own. HPM would like a full album please!

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