A three-piece blues rock band is usually my goblet of wine and although onto their 5thalbum, new to me band Dirty Streets are now firmly in my list of ‘bands to imbibe with’. Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, their latest album Distractions is a follow-up to their acclaimed 2015 release White Horse and contains a great blend of heavy, soulful and sometimes psychedelic blues-rock. Think Blue Cheer, Mountain and even some Iron Butterfly combining to craft modern takes on classic structures in an individual way. With only two of the ten tracks breaking the 4-minute mark, this album, ultimately, leaves you wanting more. The three guys Thomas Storz, Justin Toland and Andrew Denham do make a hell of a good noise, so I (almost) forgive them.
Opener ‘Loving Man’ sets the tone brilliantly with a Blue Cheer style muddy riff over a great drum intro, which expands into a blues-rock masterpiece with a hint of Vintage Trouble in the chorus. ‘Dreams’ has a delightful bass line underpinning a Cream-like song with understated slinky slide adding to the mix and this one is already on repeat. ‘Riding High’ is another belter, sort of Budgie with Leslie West guesting. Title track ‘Distractions’ uses a soul approach over a heavy riff and they chuck in a decent guitar solo too, this is BCC territory but without histrionics. ‘Take A Walk’ has a driving drumbeat with some clever flourishes and wah’d guitar… what else do you need? ‘Death’s Creep’ slows the pace and is as close to a ballad as I think these guys do. It is still heavy and reminds me of Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovel (a vastly underrated band – listen to their song 2 Tonne Fuckboot if you doubt it). ‘On The Way’ is an acoustic interlude of the type Budgie used to do to break up the heaviness of the rest. This is confirmed when final track, ‘Trying To Remember’hits: with a riff straight out of the Free songbook, but heavier than Koss ever played. A quality song and a fine way to finish.
If you like traditional blues-rock with a proficient modern twist, you will love this. Hopefully, their back catalogue is available over here in physical form (I still don’t do that ‘downloady’ thing) because, if those four releases are as good as this one, I want them too.