You walk into a punk/heavy rock dive, you’re seriously craving a greasy burger and an even more seriously cold beer. Oh, and you want to hear a band that is first of all loud, but tight and musically adept and hits you straight in the chest with their first chord even before you are able to stuff in a bite of that burger or a gulp of that beer. Dirty Fences! That’s your answer!
These New Yorkers have built a reputation as one of the tightest bands anywhere. They seem to be doing exactly that – touring relentlessly. That is all fine and peachy, but what about Dirty Fences and their studio efforts, how do they transfer that supposed limitless energy into a meaningful studio album that you can play at home and get that same rush of a live show (burger and beer are extra)? Doing that is a tough task for any band, even for somebody like The Stones, but a band like The Stones usually manages. On their third studio outing, Goodbye Love so do the Dirty Fences.
In essence, Dirty Fences operate within the holy trinity of loudness – heavy, punk, power pop, without firmly setting their foot in any of the three, but covering the whole spectrum of such a sound. What you get on Goodbye Love is a cross-section of Kiss, Cheap Trick and The Ramones, with some additions of bands like MC5, Green Day and early XTC, played quite impeccably.
The choice riffs, combined with some very poppy harmonies, start with the introductory track “All You Need Is a Number”, and end with the closing “One More Step”. You also get the obligatory Ramones’ patented ‘one, two three, four” on the single “Teen Angel”.
The band actually doesn’t miss a step – the incessant live play has obviously honed their ‘art’ (and yes, it is that). There are no wrong riffs, brief guitar solos or harmonies and no song overstays its welcome – out of 12 tunes, only three reach or go over the three-minute mark.
Now, with Goodbye Love you can enjoy that live rush without somebody knocking your food and drink out of your hands or spitting on top of your head. Still, listening to this album will certainly make you wish you could go and see Dirty Fences live.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: DIRTY FENCES – GOODBYE LOVE