For the past fifty years, Liverpool has been a hot bed of incubation for a whole host of musicians who have gone on to achieve global acclaim – led by The Beatles, and through to lost geniuses such as The La‘s Lee Mavers and a new wave of more contemporary bands such as The Zutons and The Coral.
Now, Liverpudlian young guns The Dirty Rivers could be set to make a similar impact on the musical hinterland, and write a new chapter in the sonic history of their home city.
Since their early teens, the various band-members have been making all sorts of noise on the local music scene; converging in 2011 from the remnants of two separate groups, and choosing their name during a brain-storming session which eventually settled on paying grim homage to the River Mersey which divides the city of Liverpool from the Wirral.
After whipping up a tempest on the live circuit, immediately igniting frenetic label interest which ultimately saw them sign to northern musical institution Deltasonic Records after just three gigs, they unleashed their debut single, ‘Black Heart/Filth‘, back in February; a ‘schitzophonic’ cut of rock and roll that initially began life as two separate songs.
‘Black Heart/Filth’ starts off as a stunning slice of light, classic rock and roll, polished resplendently with the euphoric energy of singer Mike Ellis‘ charismatic howl which is pitched midway between the punkish swagger of Liam Gallagher, Robert Plant and The Music‘s Rob Harvey. The last half of the song sees a switch in mood, as the band get deep down and dirty with a more ringing, rhythmic groove, plotting a path for Ellis to morph into a growling, North-Of-England version of Iggy Pop.
With their second offering ‘The Kid‘, released at the end of June, the quintet instill every seeping pore with an addictive, smoldering energy, whipping up a dancey beat that smokes its way through the eardrums with a visionary-tinged, lightly psychedelic vocal that flies over a catchy, shady mesh of tight, elegant guitars and bass, all coerced gently to Earth with a skittish bedrock of thunder struck drums. Melodically, the track sounds not a million miles south of Kasabian‘s ‘Club Foot‘, albeit with a dirtier intensity; more drenched in sweat and fag butts than the trace electronics of their Leicester predecessors.
The promo for ‘The Kid’ is as stark as the music; no semi-naked girls, bouncing Chevrolet Impalas or hangers-on presenting bottles of expensive ambrosia and bling to the camera here; just the lads playing in what looks like a dreary warehouse, with Ellis the epitome of cool; drenched in bomb threads, sauntering about his bandmates like the wayward offspring of Ian Brown and Tim Burgess, and nonchalantly taking ownership of the room in nearly every off kilter camera shot.
The two barnstorming singles only serve to garnish a building anticipation for the quintet’s debut album, which is due to drop at the tail end of this year. Until then, The Dirty Rivers will be busy ripping up a number of gigs and festivals across the land during the summer.
Catch them if you can, before they escape into infinity.