Fight Dirty (Yep Roc)
by Ewan Wadharmi
45s are scratchy, with grooves and jackets. That’s where our analogy ends, seeing as The Forty-Fives aren’t black, and to our knowledge, don’t have plastic inserts in their holes. This group of sideburns with legs make late-model garage that falls somewhere between The Mysterians and The Flamin’ Groovies. A fair amount of sleaze and fuck-face guitar makes this your ideal soundtrack for ballwalking. That point where you marvel, “They sound just like back in (pick your garage rock era). That’s both boss and gear as well!” That point never comes, because this will immerse you in that magical time with full suspension of disbelief. Bryan Malone’s realistic vocals are never over-the-top mimicry. And what organist Trey Tridwell lacks in facial hair is made up for with authentic runs from underneath, and Mark McMurtry’s bass is clever and dirty. The biggest giveaway is Adam Renshaw’s rapid-fire drumming and the clean production. Your burnout friends will think The Guess Who are back when they hear the slow bubblegum of “Follow Me Down,” and “Way to Go.” And the jangle on “Never Going to Leave You” is a variation of Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger.” Fight Dirty ranks up with The Reigning Sound as the new wave of serious garage rock. But let’s see some earmuffs on that keyboard player.
(PO Box 4821 Chapel Hill, NC 27515)