Just like the band’s name suggests, New York natives The Dirty Pearls combine the shiny with the gritty in their music, and on their debut album “Whether You Like It Or Not”, the results are pretty damn spectacular. The band’s sound can maybe be described as though the glammed-up pop and rock of the 1960s and 70s was poured over some punk-rock, shaken roughly, and then served, straight up, in a hot, crowded club somewhere in The Big Apple. And I can tell you this: it’s a concoction that tastes good, and has bite.
The tracks on “Whether You Like It Or Not” are almost ridiculously catchy and hooky, and as good as the musicianship is, it’s the band’s song-writing skills that really stand out for me. The Dirty Pearls knows how to put together the kind of tune that has sharp lyrics, gets stuck in your head, and, on top of that, makes you want to shake your yayas.
This band is solid from top to bottom. Tommy London has a voice that can do tender and smooth, but most of the time he lets a bit of a jagged edge flash through. Sunny Climbs and Tommy Mokas on guitar provide some great riffs and ripping, scruffy energy throughout, while Dougie Wright on bass and Marty E. on drums back it all up with some excellent heavy artillery.
“Whether You Like It Or Not”, the album’s title track, kicks off the proceedings in spectacular fashion. It’s a twisted up pop-rock-punk hit, and my favorite tune on this album. Next up is “Who’s Coming Back To Who”, a tune that gets a shot of retro from its crooning intro and smooth chorus, before the guitars screech through it, speeding things up. This one will get stuck in your head and won’t let go.
Other standout tracks include the irresistibly dance-y “Static”, and cocaine-love-song “Love Sick Love” with a roughed up poppy vibe to it, and featuring yet another catchy chorus. (These guys seem to have an unlimited supply of those.)
The stripped down “You Got Me Where You Want Me” is a surprisingly tender and quite beautiful love-song in the midst of all the sex and drugs and rock’n’roll. Then the guys race on with the rowdy fun of “Sucker For A Sequel”, and the fast sexiness of “Mayday”, before wrapping things up with “New York City Is A Drug”, a rocking ode to the band’s hometown.
“Whether You Like It Or Not” is an album that is cocky, catchy and entertaining as hell, with a loose, rollicking feel that gives it an extra zap of energy and attitude. The Dirty Pearls gets the balance between lustre and grime just right, and I’m hoping there’s more where all this goodness came from.