Artist: Dirty Revival
Produced by: Dirty Revival, LLC
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I haven't been so excited to tell our readers about a new talent in years. I've received promotional materials from Alex Steininger for many years now and he almost never steers me wrong, but this time he has sent me something that put a huge smile on my face. The self-titled debut album from Dirty Revival had me running around to all of my friends singing its praises.
Dirty Revival is a five-piece band fronted by singer Sarah Clarke and featuring the guitars and emcee talents of Evan Simko, Terry Drysdale on drums, Karl Ludwigen on keyboards and Jon Shaw on bass. Their sound is described by Sarah Clarke as "Big, gritty, and honest. Our sound is unique but pulls elements of our favorite genres: soul, funk, hip-hop, R&B, jazz, gospel, and rock." Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Dirty Revival started in a basement and has quickly become a much sought after ensemble of talent.
As soon as I heard the first track of Dirty Revival's debut album, I knew I was listening to something special. Dirty Love has a classic R&B sound, featuring horns, percussion, guitars and synths. Sarah Clarke provides vocals that rival Christina Aguilera in strength and definitely have her beat in clarity. The back-up singers are reminiscent of The Supremes, but the rap vocals provided by Evan Simko are something you would never find on one of their albums. And somehow, this mix of styles blends perfectly to form a song whose music will make you want to dance and whose lyrics will soon have you singing along. This is followed up by a sexy, soulful R&B track called Take It Off. With a title like that, I don't have to tell you what the song is about, but I do have to say that Sarah Clarke isn't just about belting out a tune. On this track, she purrs you into doing exactly what she wants...whatever she wants.
She Can't Wait is reminiscent of songs I used to listen to on HOT 97 back in the 90s. This is a hard hitting R&B track about an independent woman that rivals songs by Mary J. Blige. When I played this song for a bunch of my coworkers, a couple actually said, "Hey, I know that singer." But they couldn't think of the name. One even suggested that the performance reminded them of Taraji P. Henson in I Can Do Bad All By Myself. They were amazed when I told them that this was a debut album for a band they had likely never heard of. They definitely wanted to hear more.
Make It has a 70s funk sound to it and discusses the struggle to succeed in life, asking, "when can I get a piece of the pie." Lay Me Down is more of a gospel track with guts - a hard hitting track about the affect of addiction on a soul. Lately has a 60s feel to the beginning, then turns into an Erykah Badu-style sexy R&B love song. Can't Breathe is a hard hitting track about racial tension in which the singer reminds us that everyone is culpable for the current state of society. Kruse is a fun song about driving around in Grandma's hooptie that has a fun 70s funk feel.
To sum things up, I am very excited to bring you a new R&B group that deserves play time on all of the top R&B stations in the area. Dirty Revival is a band with a great sound, powerful vocals and terrific lyrics. I can't wait to hear more from Dirty Revival in the future!