Dirtbag is one of those great bands that people never really hear about. They were formed in 2004 by brothers Mike and Vultch and have since built a strong reputation in the Southern California hardcore punk scene by peddling their abrasive yet very complex form of hardcore that defies typical convention. Think of them as the West Coast's answer to Gang Green.
Their debut album, Wastoid Scum is a 12-track opus filled with songs tackling the subjects of drinking and partying. There's no room for politics here and this album defines what punk should be: parties, beer and fun, all without being preachy or even preaching at all for that matter. The album opens up with "Scum Blues," an anthem that introduces them as the Wastoid Kings of the punk rock scene. The next song, "Not Again" deals with a problem most of us have dealt with at least one time our lives and that is being way too drunk to fuck. The album lags off a bit with "That's Right," but picks up right away with "Heavy Duty Weekend."
I wasn't ready for the next track. It opens up with an acoustic melody and a quasi-solo done on a Mexican-style guitar. "Tijuana" is the name of the track and it expresses the joys of crossing the border, going to the bar and getting head all in one night -- it makes you feel as if you are there at that very moment in time [Uh, none of us are entirely sure if this review/album is supposed to be parody or not. Take it with an entire salt shaker. - Ed.]. The next few tracks lead up to the defining moments of the album: dealing with laziness, and yet again, more alcohol. "Same Shit" is their way of mocking everyone out there who has no mind of their own when it comes to music, and who constantly produce the same recycled garbage we are accustomed to on the radio, MTV, etc. It opens up with a riff stolen from an AC/DC song and continues their brand of mockery through the entire song. The album has to come to an end unfortunately, and Dirtbag gives us "Wastoids", an anthem for everyone who likes any of the aforementioned activities portrayed on this album.
Dirtbag, while you may not have heard of them, as they are still a blip on the radar (barely a blip, if that), are here to stay and are definitely a force to be reckoned with. Whether you like classic hardcore like Gang Green or Battalion of Saints or are into more contemporary punk, check these guys out as they will blow your mind. If you are into old-school rock as well, there are enough elements lifted from that genre as well to warrant this band a chance. With their brand of fast, barely melodic hardcore, with solos that give Eddy Van Halen or Slash a run for their money, Dirtbag will leave a mark on the punk scene for years to come. These guys are wastoids who don't care and generally don't give a fuck. Enjoy this album for what it has to offer.