Personnel: The Dirty Streets (percussion); Justin Toland (vocals, guitar, piano); Andrew Denham (drums); Matt Qualls, Matt Denham (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Matt Qualls.
Recording information: Ardent Studios, Mamphis, TN.
Illustrator: Joshua Marc Levy.
Photographer: Rachel Wilder.
You can't kill the boogie, no matter how far we may be from the early '70s, and it's odd but encouraging to think that America is still home to a thriving subculture where Savoy Brown and Ten Years After can be claimed as heroes and role models. The Dirty Streets are a power trio who hail from Memphis, a town with a long, rich history of rock dudes getting caught up in the blues and its various offshoots. On their third album, 2015's White Horse, they once again unleash a fireball of hard boogie-fortified guitar swagger that sounds solidly authentic without giving the uncomfortable feeling that these guys have been practicing in a mirror so they have their moves down. Dirty Streets' guitarist Justin Toland has a natural feel for hip-shaking hard rock, tossing out riffs and laying down lead lines with impressive dexterity, and the fact he can confidently hold down lead vocals at the same time only makes his fiercely strutting attack all the more impressive. Bassist Thomas Storz and drummer Andrew Denham are less flashy but equally effective, lending an impressive throb that keeps the bottom end just tight enough to stay grounded and just loose enough to inspire beer-sodden rooster dancing among the faithful. Like most bands of their ilk, the Dirty Streets aren't trying to redesign the wheel, they just want to make it roll, and White Horse delivers on that score. Sure there are a bunch of other bands who can do this just as well, but the Dirty Streets make it feel as good as it's supposed to be, and White Horse is one album that makes the heavy stomp sound light and easygoing, and that's just the right approach for this music. ~ Mark Deming