Dirty Names – Rock And Roll Mind Control (EP)
Despite having only released their debut recording in May of 2010, the band formerly known as the Names have already had to change, well, their name. The moniker Dirty Names certainly seems appropriate because while they’re still firmly grounded in vintage rock and roll, just a hint of eyeliner now appears to be making an appearance in the proceedings.
Underground Wednesday described their debut as “straight-up rock and roll done right by four kids with all the right influences on their sleeves,” and while that certainly remains the case, they’ve shifted their allegiance from Nuggets-era early Stones to their Exile On Main Street heyday of the early seventies. And what glorious fingerprints they are. Recorded live at Mill Creek studio over the course of just one day, Rock And Roll Mind Control feels both stripped down and fleshed out at the same time.
In a year where the Black Eyed Peas performed at halftime at the Super Bowl, what the world needs is a return to rock and roll with verve and grit and the Dirty Names deliver both in spades. “Rock and Roll Mind Control” is the lone holdover from the album and gets the live-in-studio treatment that the original deserved. “Don’t Try Making A Move” is the bastard child of Little Richard’s “Lucille” and Exile’s “Rip This Joint.” “I Don’t Dare” is a Jagger homage right down to Harrison Cofer’s impression of Mick’s pseudo-Southern accent. “Swimming” flat-out rings and even with the presence of high harmonies that are positively Keith-esque, it owes every bit as much to Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds as the Glimmer Twins.
But the real jewel here is the exuberant “Salt Water Jackie.” Reminiscent of “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” it features Cofer’s best vocal performance to date, fortified by tasty piano accents courtesy of new member John Countryman, and a taut hook that just keeps gaining momentum. It’s further evidence that these local kids are about to make good.
The Dirty Names – Salt Water Jackie