Last week The Dirtbombs
came out with a double CD
collecting all their various singles and that Australian 10" they put out. This collection is awesome. I never tried too hard to get all the singles b/c there was a certain Thee Headcoats feel that it would be an impossible task. I have maybe ten and I think there were nineteen total.
The liner notes are full of little insights and the music is standard Dirtbombs greatness. These guys, although incredibly cool, are basically hardcore record nerds with amplified instruments. That's why guitars are so great. They can take geeks like these who argue over Kraftwerk records and make them sound so incredibly cool you want to pick up a guitar yourself.
The first CD is all originals and the second is all covers. The variety is astounding. There are soul covers inline with Ultraglide In Black, there's garagey stuff from the Horndog Fest time, and there's poppier stuff ala Dangerous Magical Noise, and then there's other unclassifiable stuff.
One of the reasons I think The Dirtbombs are so amazing is that they can cover songs by Soft Cell, Stevie Wonder, Cheater Slicks, Lou Rawls, and Yoko Ono and keep some of the uniqueness that the original had but still make it sound consistent with their overall sound or philosophy. I guess that's it, they play a philosophy more than a style and it really comes through.
This record covers garage themes (it has tributes to Tina Louise, Nichelle Nichols and cars), it has some of the soulful politics that I really loved about Ultraglide (I said I don't like political songs but I do, I think they have to be narrative, that takes away a lot of the sloganeering. Compare Sly and the Family Stone's Underdog to anything by 7 Seconds and what I'm saying will make sense.), and they just have some weird quirky shit.
At the very least this will provide a lot of fun research. Try and get a copy of every song that was covered. See who's covered each of these songs besides The Dirtbombs. You'll learn a lot about modern Rock N Roll. You may even start to care enough to argue over which Kraftwerk record is best.
I don't already have a look and although I love this CD I don't think I would cop theirs. I remember seeing Mick Collins at the Satyricon wearing purple pleather pants and a shimmering silver sequined shirt. That's not really me, he does wear cool sunglasses though. Any sunglasses I buy have to pass the Mick Collins Test. Would Mick where these on stage?