They said it was impossible, they said it couldn’t be done (some even said it shouldn’t be done), but Canadian quartet Dirtbag Republic did it anyway, the unholy marriage between punk and glam rock, spawning something entirely new and different: glunk rock! Imagine The Misfits dressed up as Steel Panther and you’d be on the right tracks. The sound produced by Dirtbag Republic is so bizarre and intriguing that you cannot help but want to hear more. The group have somehow managed to combine two opposing styles of rock, creating something quite brilliant.
Dirtbag Republic have recently released their second album, Downtown Eastside, a collection of glunk rock treats. The entire album is full of high-energy, chirpy-sounding hard rock, with guitar solos and group vocals in abundance, and the lead single, “Junkie Girl”, is no different. Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice when listening to “Junkie Girl” is just how easy it is to move along to. The catchiness of the track can be narrowed down to the talent of guitarists Mick Wood and Andrew Cairns who provide clean-cut, well defined riffs which don’t even come close to backing down. No second is wasted on “Junkie Girl”, with the band flaring in to action immediately, going from 0-60 in the blink of an eye. Vocalist Sandy Hazard’s clear yet gruff voice easily dominates the track. This is accomplished through Hazard’s melodic style of singing, which instantly invites in the listener, and begs them to sing along.
Each song on Downtown Eastside is short, straight to the point, and packs a punch, leaving you no choice but to bop your head along to the catchy, adrenaline-laden songs. Make sure you have enough time to listen to the full album, because once you hear that first track, you’ll be hooked.
Downstown Eastside is out now and available through Dirtbag Republic’s bandcamp.