This is the debut album by Dirty Shirley and I wasn’t sure what to expect given that the album cover is fairly non-descript and looks like something I would expect on a modern indie album with attitude, I’m more used to the usually sumptuous power metal covers and they can nearly always tell you everything you need to know about the music!
However, any doubts I may have had were immediately dispelled once the play button was pressed and the opening track, Here Comes The King, was literally released from its cage and came snarling and spitting out of the speakers. The first thing you notice is the incredible voice of Croatian Dino Jelusic, which is so powerful, commanding and soaring and he is another singer very much influenced by and reminiscent of the master that is Ronnie James Dio. The whole flavour of the album is ’70s era Rainbow which is always enough to win me over and there is a hint of blues influenced Zeppelin too making this a very special classic heavy rock album.
The moral here is never judge an album by its cover as this is quite a stupendous album but this should be no surprise given that the guitarist is the hard working George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame. Trevor Roxx on bass and Will Hunt on drums are an immense pairing and maintain a beat that is huge and has the force of a tidal wave with Lynch adding a guitar display that is incredible and I doubt he has ever played better.
Dino Jelusic is going to be one of those much in demand singers and he certainly came of age whilst with the band Animal Drive and their album ‘Bite!’ is very much worth checking out too. Dirty Shirley revel in the glory days of ’70s and ’80s metal whilst adding modern day studio techniques to create a fresh and vibrant but retro influenced hard rock that simply revels in great songs, incredible guitar that is off the scale and an inspired vocal performance. The album contains enough dirt and bump and grind to give it an edge making this hot and sweaty metal not some sanitised product created at the behest of corporate shirts. Dirty Shirley have produced a storming album that will amaze and enthrall all those who hear it and it will transport you back to a time when it was all just about the music, man! Buy, play loud, enjoy.