Dirt Box Disco: People Made Of Paper – album review

Dirt Box Disco ‘People Made Of Paper’ (STP Records)
Released 29th April 2013

To many punk rock has become a thesis; Amazon is awash with weighty tombs each claiming to provide the finite definition of the genre, some consider the repercussions, the impact of not just the music, but the artwork, and most importantly the attitude – these various hypothesis do influence certain sections of the public; some so called first wave bands are revered despite being little more than pub rock bands clinging to the shirt tails of another’s talent for the last 30yrs; others, as by virtue of their birth date were unable to play at The Roxy are dismissed as not being ‘real’…I’m not entirely sure quite where Dirt Box Disco would fit into such debate. I am however entirely sure that they don’t give a shit, as at this point and with this their second album they are arguably one of the best bands in the UK; a fact which will surely irk some of the pompous old guard.

Everything about Dirt Box Disco is wrong; from the cheap double entendre moniker, to the equally moronic pseudonyms…the prize going to guitarist Spunk Volcano, the visually arresting even bizarre stage outfits, the blue face, right through to their subject matter; not dating ugly women, sleeping with your mate’s sister and the mighty nihilistic anthem ‘Let’s Get Wasted!’ from their previous ‘Legends’ album; but in the case of Dirt Box Disco wrong is simply right, in fact it’s very right and it’s a view point that is spreading with alarming speed – ‘People Made Of Paper’ will fan the flames as it threatens to engulf all that stands before it; a raging fusion of influence from punk, new wave, power-pop, metal, and glam delivered with insane energy, bludgeoning volume and the chaotic finesse of The Macc Lads.

Opener ‘Freaks’ immediately lets you know what to expect, frantic buzz saw guitar leading us into the trademark Dirt Box vocal harmonies interspersed with hollering from WEAB.I.AM before the entire clan chant “All of the freaks are here!!” as you once again open your heart to the instantly catchy riffs and neat guitar work which leads you to ‘My Life Is Shit’, a frantic pace, a massed chorus, and fist punching refrains; how a band who are only onto their second album can have a ‘classic’ sound I don’t know but Dirt Box Disco have effortlessly achieved it – ‘She’s My Baby!!’ with its huge sing-a-long “yeah, yeah, yeah” which will merely ignite the already raging moshpits, the self-mythologizing of ‘What You Gonna Do About It?’ – One listen to that real stomping drum and bass combo and you will be chanting “We are Dirt Box, we are Bastards…and we love it

Dirt Box Disco are not about musical invention, they are about huge gleeful rabble rousing nudge nudge and wink wink anthems – if the Carry On films had been scored by The Ramones this would have been the result; the entire album is riddled with impossibly infectious licks, the songs are not complicated; Dirt Box Disco don’t fuck around, they know what they are about, they know what people want and they deliver by the lorry load, its full on adrenaline laced punk rock, fast furious and dangerously entertaining, just listen to ‘My Girlfriends Best Friends Sister’ a massive chugging riff battles with the twin vocal assault of WEAB and Spunk, the guitar – there are enough hooks in this one track to keep J R Hartley’s right arm in furious action for years to come…so what he would do if he heard ‘You Think You Know Me’…would certainly require a few tissues to tidy up that little mess.

‘After Show Girlies’ is (perhaps) a confessional from the Dirt Box Disco tour as once again they chant the band name in amongst the celebration of cheap sex, drink, drugs and wanton hedonism, then during ‘All For One’ they invite us all to join them in celebration of “all for one, one for all, Dirt Box Disco rock ‘n’ roll” – things get a little darker during ‘Punk Rock And Porno’, the bass rumbles, a maelstrom of drum chaos as WEAB reminds us that all he wants is ‘Punk Rock And Porno’…like we ever expected him to yearn for Camus, Jung or Sartre!!

Dirt Box Disco have crafted an album that despite their best efforts is crammed full of flair, excitement, and riffs; riffs other bands, some of alleged greater kudos would sell their children to have written – an entire album of sugar coated blistering punk rock that will leave your head spinning in a kaleidoscopic whirl of Wonka fuelled glee.

With ‘People Made Of Paper’ Dirt Box Disco have proved the doubters wrong, they have cemented their position as the band to watch; a fact that will surely have the aforementioned old guard shitting in their fake Boy bondage pants.


Tour dates:

Apr 13 – The Brickmakers Norwich
Apr 28 – The Star And Garter, Manchester (Album launch)
May 4 – The Boat House, Cambridge
May 5 – The Old Angel Nottingham

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