Express & Star

Tamworth band You Dirty Blue, Make Way for the Montage - EP review

This six-track EP from Tamworth duo You Dirty Blue is full of so-much balls-out attitude it's a surprise they haven't been arrested for public indecency.

The EP's cover

There is so much funk and swag slipped under the sometimes grunge, sometimes desert rock guitars, bass organ and drums - it's a booze-fuelled teenage house party rolled into six slick snippets of musical magic.

Leon James (lead guitar/bass organ/vocals) and Martin Reynolds (drums/vocals) are busy boys on this EP - their third release - adding a lot into the melting pot. It's a lot of fun, and that is perhaps down to the lo-fi production of Thomas Edward of Wolverhampton-based thump titans God Damn.

The likenesses are clear, even if these guys are a little more restrained in the decibels than the rising stars from the Black Country.

This is perhaps displayed in Bimbada. That rhythmic drumming that journeys on regardless of what is going on around it is emphatic, without ever sounding overbearing. Reynolds is one of those delightful sticksmen who doesn't seem to want to make it all about him. And when James joins him for the gliding guitar outro the song is a real heavenly slice of youthful exuberance.

You Dirty Blue hail from Tamworth

There is bluesy melancholy to Jumped The Gun. This song glides along with a swagger and poise usually exhibited by musicians older and more experienced. It's grippingly confident songwriting.

A slightly-more-high-octane version of this can be found with In Other Words. The jangling guitars throughout are another treat, as James' slightly rasping vocals hold court over proceedings. Behind them, Reynolds does add some oomph to those drums.

Grouchier (grungier) is Paper Moon. Here deep, reverberating warbles carry the rest of the song above it. And James again shines with his guitars as Reynolds provides some foot-tapping percussion. This will sound magnificent live.

Unsociable Jon is another guitar/drum fest that builds to a magnificent instrumental crescendo. Those alcohol-tinged vocals again rail over the top like a guttural banshee demanding to be heard.

And the absolute centrepiece is Loose Hips. The latest single from the band is a limb-flailing riot with more than a double dosing of funk in the undercurrent. It's a proper road trip of a song, our hero riding forth into the sunset to achieve his goal.

The EP should be heard for that track alone. But overall, it is pretty close to perfection.

Rating: 10/10

You Dirty Blue are playing at Into The Valley, Redditch on March 15, Birmingham's Castle & Falcon on April 21 and Sutton Coldfield Town Hall on May 10