When it comes to high grade dirty rock n roll certainly in underground scenes, one band has in the past few years always been to the fore and stood apart with their own brew of raw and insatiable rock. Irish band The Ourz since forming in 2008 has infected and captured the imagination of all who have come across their sounds or live performances. Influenced by multi flavours and bands across rock, blues, and metal, the Balbriggan quartet simply offer honest and passionate music, sounds from the heart for the heart.
Our first introduction to the band came through The Reputation Radio Show who have unleashed and championed the music of the band to their audience for the past two years. When news broke of the forthcoming release of their debut album anticipation accelerated like rumours in the world of Charlie Sheen. The Reputation Radio Show recently with thanks and gratitude to the band, unveiled the world exclusive debut of songs from Dirty Tracks, the impending first album from the band. With our association to the show and The Ourz we grabbed the chance to feast upon the forthcoming release and what a surprising and magnificent little gem it emerged to be. Planned for release before the end of the year, Dirty Tracks leaves one excited, wonderfully agitated, and ready to party hard.
As mentioned it was a surprising release. The band has always produced great songs and music to leave only pleasure in their wake but on the album the band has exploded and found an even stronger depth and heart to their creativity. There are songs which fans already know from the past years but they have evolved into something as fresh and powerful as the new material. They may be familiar but they have never sounded so good nor the band. Musically the band bring a brew with the likes of Tom Petty, Thin Lizzy, and Bad Company spicing up their original flavours.
Formed by vocalist Gerard Smith and guitarist Shane Kinsella, the band was completed with its current line-up by drummer Brandon Edwards in 2009 and the following year bassist Gary Healy. Their debut EP in 2010 alongside their electric high energy live shows soon made them one of the most acclaimed and followed bands across Dublin and beyond, the charms of the release stretching beyond their hometown into media and radio attention worldwide through the subsequent years. The Ourz create and write without compromise what makes them excited inside, the result something to trigger the fullest pleasure.
The thirteen track feast is opened by the excellent Couldn’t Believe It, a song which immediately tries to make off with best on album honours. From magnetic guitar play and a hypnotic bassline, the track swaggers with confidence and the intent to ignite the strongest reaction. The song sees the band arguably tighter and darker than ever before whilst scorching the air with melodic enterprise and inciteful rhythms. It is pure rock brought through heart borne energy. The restrained but keen groove of the song persists throughout to hook the senses allowing the inventive guitars and the expressive vocals of Smith to light up the air further.
The well worn and loved Midnight Friend steps forward next to continue the immense start and show its new refreshed and still mesmeric charms. With the pulsating velvety basslines of Healy veining the song it is a piece of blues hard rock at its best. The song has captured multitudes in its past and with its re-energised breath is sure to multiply its victims tenfold. The album took two years to complete, the work and attention given easily apparent on this song alone.
Tracks like Your Time Will Come with its deep blues stroll, the emotive You Not Me, and the slowly burning Virtue, show the expansive sound of the band but it is fair to say every song within Dirty Tracks has its own distinct and compelling aspect. The album has a strength and craft across its length which is impressive and whether the tracks are uncomplicated or more intricate, all leave a richly pleasing taste.
Individual highlights which ignite the most enthused personal fires come alongside the opening pair, with the trio of tracks Summer Rain, Attack, and Nasty Conscience. The first is a melodic caress which drips emotion fuelled by incendiary guitar weaves and infectious bass grooves. With multiple crescendos to its refined hard rock energy the song brings the senses to the boil skilfully. Attack is as its titles suggests a riotous assault on the ear, an eager storm of sharp melodic manipulations and crashing rhythms to swarm and taunt behind more great attitude oozing vocals. Infectious to the core and inciteful to voice and foot the track leaves one excited and looking for the next breath. The last of the trio is the best track on the album and one already adopted by the mass audience of the previously mentioned Reputation Radio Show. From its opening beats and bass growl through to the fine vocals and surging guitar flourishes the track is addiction on the loose. The song takes the dirty rock n roll The Ourz proudly creates into a filthier feisty bar room for the deepest rewards.
Dirty Tracks is an explosive and thoroughly enjoyable release which shows honesty and heart goes a long way to making the best rock music, something The Ourz do with accomplished ease.
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