Dirty Thrills - 'Heavy Living'

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Dirty Thrills - 'Heavy Living'

They are simply trying a little too hard to convince.

Often criticised for the similarity between their releases, Frontiers Records have officially broken the mould here. Not only are Dirty Thrills a Blues-based bunch of Classic Hard Rockers, these young lads are British – something else that has until now been a rarity for the Italian organisation. In fact, so left-field is this release from the (retirement) home of Melodic Hard Rock, many of their loyal followers may not know exactly what to make of Dirty Thrills or their 'Heavy Living'. However, as Frontiers broaden their horizons, it's hard not to wonder if they haven't missed the boat given the market is already awash with young upstarts battling to unearth the long, unclaimed Classic Rock crown...

Dirty Thrills first hit us with a killer riff and banshee-like scream back in 2013; a debut EP was quickly followed by a full-length album and a further two subsequent shorter efforts. 'Heavy Living' keeps up their strike rate of releasing new content every year, and when compared to their 2015 EP 'Sweetheart Of The Slums', finds the band much more refined, much more poised and a little less rambunctious. If there's a problem, then maybe that's it.

Although these guys have served their dues and come back for more, there's an ever so slightly calculated feel to the seldom balls-out Rock of 'Rabbit Hole' or 'Lonely Soul'. Despite a mix of Blues, Funk and Soul that might just get followers of Glenn Hughes all sticky in the most inappropriate places, maybe it's just a little too slick for its own good, while the harder hitters such as 'Go Slow' or 'No Resolve' appear to strike an uncomfortable balance between early Led Zeppelin and current day Royal Blood; however, when you consider the success of both, who can blame them?

It's not that Dirty Thrills sound contrived – far from it actually – or that the vocal histrionics from Louis James and grinding guitars of Jack Fawdry don't sound rich, authentic and from the heart. Yet, no matter how hard I've tried to get under the skin of 'Heavy Living', and no matter how much I've enjoyed their early offerings, the feeling I'm often left with is that Dirty Thrills are simply trying a little too hard to convince.

That said, I feel exactly the same way about the much lauded Inglorious, and that hasn't done them any harm.

Steven Reid

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