Dirt Box Disco - Legends (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Dirt Box Disco

Legends (2012)

STP Records

By rights, the punk rock snob in me (I apologize, I'm not perfect) should dismiss this band out of hand: there's make up involved, daft stage names, costumes and a band name that, well, I just don't like. This release has been hanging around for a while and although I'd played it a few times, I was trying to avoid writing a review as I didn't know how best to represent it, but on revisiting it again a few months down the line I've had some sort of musical epiphany and have found the right words.

Here is a band that cranks out more tunes, riffs and sing-along parts than a number of U.K. counterparts, including the truly awful JD and the FDC's, who would probably love to be half this good. What Dirt Box Disco realize is that this is punk/rock 'n' roll and they're just using it to have a good time rather than be anything else.

The album is chocked full with massive riffs and catchy verses and choruses to just make this a relatively enjoyable listen. Okay, the lyrics are neither here nor there, to be honest, with nothing new being offered up, but wherever possible they make sure that you cannot ignore refrains. I find myself singing "Smackhead" or "Rock n' Rolla" during the relevant songs and some of these tunes also manage to stick with me when I stop listening to the album, which is never a bad thing.

I felt that JD and the FDC's were influenced by the Wildhearts but for me that was not evident in the quality of the songs. I can hear that same influence in some of Dirt Box Disco's songs like "Rock n' Rolla" and "I Am Rock n' Roll" (spot the connection there?!) and the difference is that, on the whole, it has a positive impact as it's mixed in with a raw punk sound to round it off nicely. There are moments when it does get a little wearing ("I Won't Forget," "Radio! Radio!" and "Dirtbox Days" don't do anything for me) but on the whole this is a lot better than I expected it would be, and overall it's not a bad listen.

I'll take Dirt Box Disco as a good time band any day and I can easily imagine that live performances are something to behold. I've taken any residual snobbishness, locked it in a box and dropped it in Plymouth Sound, where it belongs.