All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Fear, Comfort and Dirty Smile(s)

It’s a scary world; A world full of people who are willing to castigate you for what you believe, or worse.  It doesn’t really matter what side of the political, religious or philosophical spectrum you’re on.  We in the United States live in a country started on the basis of freedom.  Puritans left Holland/England seeking freedom to believe in and worship God in the fashion they wished rather than in the manner prescribed by King James.  The founders of the United States wrote the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and the U.S. Bill of Rights to specifically codify U.S. objections to rule by kings, tyrants and despots. 

Now we live in a nation where our leaders act counter to the interests of the people.  Special interests and corporations write our laws.  If you speak out against the way things are; against the government, you need to be concerned about who will start going through your email.  If you have religious beliefs, you need to be concerned about who might want to kill you.  It’s a scary world.

So reminiscence and memory become an escape, and music is one of the keenest reminders.  It’s one of the reasons that cover bands are so popular on Friday and Saturday nights.  It’s the comfort of music you know from a band that delivers it in relatively faithful versions.  The next step beyond that is a band that writes original music that is wholly from another era.  That brings us today’s band, Dirty Smile. 

Dirty Smile is a Buffalo, NY band comprised of Megan Brown, Erik Eimiller, Jesse Raderman, Mike Suda and Gus Walters.  The band is as tight as a wire and plays a delicious blend of pop, rock and soul.  Elements of Fleetwood Mac and the early, Led Zeppelin-like sound of Rush abound on the band’s debut EP, Love Songs for the Damned: Volume I.  Megan Brown is an absolute revelation on the mic, belting out vocals reminiscent of Grace Slick and occasionally even Geddy Lee.  Her voice is beautiful and electric with a rough edge and smooth side: the complete package.  The rest of the band matches her step for step with a dynamic sound with deep 1970s and 1980s roots. 

“Don’t Lie To Me” is the lead track, and could fit in on the regular play list of any AOR station in the country.  The song also has a freshness that makes it ear candy for today, and it wouldn’t be surprising to hear this on pop radio or on a movie soundtrack somewhere.  The other big standout track here is “Mona Lisa”, which is really performed in two parts.  The backside of “The Vow” is an acapella take by Brown on the Nat King Cole classic, and becomes a transition into Dirty Smile’s original song of the same name.  Brown shines on both, showing a supple, classic vocal style on the former, while diving into a soulful pop/rock sound on the latter.  Other songs of note include “Siren” and “Insanely Ever After”.

Love Songs for the Damned: Volume I was mixed and mastered by Canadian Indie legend Ron Hawkins (Lowest of the Low, Do Good Assassins), and the finished product is edgy, but ultimately as smooth as a baby’s bottom.  It’s a terrific introduction for a rust belt band with dreams and aspirations, as well as a sound that should carry them far beyond their great lakes home.

Learn more at  

Check out the official video for the band's song "Siren" below!

No comments: