The circus it’s back to the town! Run and hide while you still can, the freaks are out of leash! Or just turn up the volume, dig out from the corner of your soul your rusty air-guitar and bang the hell out of your head!
Formed in 1995 in a small town called Seini from Maramureş, Romania, by four young and enthusiast musicians, Dirty Shirt released their third (and deadly) album these days. The vivid mixture of Western, Industrial fueled Hardcore Metal and Eastern folklore never sounded better and more cohesive. It’s a rarely happy marriage between different sounds and aromas, a smartly conducted collision of cultures and concepts. Although, Dirty Shirt reminds me of Tankard, Leningrad Cowboys and Faith No More, and they have solid roots back to the late 80’s, mid 90’s metal, this still sounds powerful and alive. Alternative metal, smartly layered and tastefully flavoured with nu-metal, metalcore and genuine (home made 🙂 ), secret ingredients.
The band quickly earned itself a good reputation in the Romanian underground especially due to its pretty busy live schedule which included several tours and the participation at well-known competitive festivals (Samfest, Samus Rock, Posada, Young Rock for Youngs, Metalfan, Constelaţii Rock, and so forth) where they won several prizes.
Their first demos received positive reviews in the specialized media.
In 1998, Dirty Shirt won the Great Prize at the Top T Festival in Buzău, which gave them the opportunity to record their first full-length “Very Dirty” (Promusic Prod, 2000). Unfortunately, shortly after the release of the record, at a time when things really started to take off, the band was compelled to go on a several year-long hiatus due to personal reasons.
Despite the fact that the band members are “scattered” in different corners of Europe, DIRTY SHIRT reunited in 2004. They also made several adjustments to their music. The demos they released in this period brought to the fore several new musical elements such as industrial metal and hardcore spiced up with folk, funk, and electronic influences.In the following years, DIRTY SHIRT had a busy live schedule, having shows in Romania, Hungary, France and Belgium. The band embarked on several national tours with important bands such as Tripod (FR), Babylon Pression (FR), Zeroscape (CAN) and Superbutt (HU). Additionally, they played at major rock festivals in Romania (Maximum Rock, Samfest, Rock la Mureş, Top T, East West Fest) where they shared the stage with great bands such as Overkill, UDO, Crematory, Lake of Tears, etc.
In 2009, the band recorded its second full-length “Same Shirt, Different Day” at the Kallaghan Studio in France. It was mastered by Alan Douches (West West Side Music, USA). The album was released in 2010 and received many positive reviews both in Romania and abroad.
The period 2010-2011 is arguably the most prolific period in the band’s history. Apart from the promotional tour (which included almost fifty shows in Romania, Hungary and Germany) and the participation at various rock festivals (Route 68, Student Fest, Rockin’ Transylvania, Fraureuth Open Air, and Dirty Fest), DIRTY SHIRT also made three videos (“Pitbull,” “Manifest” and “East West”) and released its first ever live DVD entitled “Live in the Truck.” Additionally, the band qualified for the national finals of the most important international music competitions: Wacken Metal Battle, Peninsula Talent Stage, and Global Battle of the Bands (it took the second place in 2011).
2012 was the year of writing, recording and producing their new album, and finally, the third child it’s here, he’s alive and kicking like a mule!!
Dirty Shirt are:
Dan “Rini” Crăciun (vocals), Robi “Metalistu” Rusz (vocals), Mihai Tivadar (guitars, synths, programming), Cristi Bălănean (guitars), Pali Novelli (bass), Vlad “X” Ţoca (drums)
Produced by Mihai Tivadar & Charles “Kallaghan” Massabo.
Music by Dirty Shirt, except “Rocks Off” by Daniel Bedingfield; chorus of “Bad Apples” and the track “Săracă Inima Me” from Romanian traditional music.
Lyrics by Leonard Ciocan and Dirty Shirt, except “Freak Show”, “Never Say Never”, and “Ride” by Leonard Ciocan; “Rocks Off” by Daniel Bedingfield; chorus of “Bad Apples” and all lyrics of “Săracă Inima Me” from Romanian traditional music.
With the participation of Cosmin Petruţ (violin on “Bad Apples” and “Rocks Off”), Assica Jelba (additional synths on “Ride” and “Trust Me”), David McLeod (synth solo on “Never Say Never”) and Brushvox (synth sound design adviser).
Mixed and mastered by Charles “Kallaghan” Massabo @ studio 118 WEST, Los Angeles, USA
Editing and arrangements by Mihai Tivadar @ MT Sound, Grenoble, France
Recorded by Mihai Tivadar, Vlad Ţoca, and Adrian Uritescu @ LowBass Studio, Deva, Romania (drums, guitars); @ PSSS, Seini, Romania (vocals, bass, acoustic guitars); @ MT Sound, Grenoble, France (synths, additional guitars).
Additional recordings by Radu Lup (violins) @ Studioul G.M. Zamfirescu Satu Mare, Romania; by David McLeod (additional synths) @ Word Of Mouth Studios, London, UK; by Assica Jelba (additional synths) @ Santa Claus Studio, Jyväskylä, Finland.
Artwork by Costin Chioreanu (Twilight13Media).
“Ride” sounds like a Bon Jovi anthem with a lethal dose of Kid Rock (from the times when Kid was still rock…. 😆 ).
“Bad Apples” it’s a vivid mixture of opera type of singing, traditional Romanian folklore themes and powerful, wicked, metal riffs. Shifting smoothly to one into another or blend them all together, this songs gives a perfect taste of what Dirty Shirt it’s up to.
“Freak Show” introduce some funky flavour, the hardcore grooves and metal riffs just make this further dangerous.
“Trust Me” have a wicked nu-metal, Korn related vibe, it’s one of the most intense and heaviest songs from the album, while the chorus it’s absolutely killer, can’t get rid of it easily.
“Away” it’s the album’s slow track, not a traditional ballad, but a darker and still intense trip.
“The Business of Life” it’s another very strong composition, love its intense groove and melodious chorus.
“Never Say Never” have some smooth and gentle jazz flavours, it’s one of the best songs of the album, a really groovy and refreshing mixture of hardcore intensity with chillness. Have a kind of Faith No More flavour.
“This Is The Day” bring back up to front the bone cutter heavy riffs and the genuine metal grinding. Sounds and feels strong and unstoppable. Although it have some 90’s thrash vibe, this is still ass kicking.
“Săracă Inima Me” it’s a traditional Romanian love song, Dirty Shirt made it darker and sicker, heart-ripping and deadly.
“Extreme Funky Disco” speeding up once again and the melodious chorus with the sharp as a blade riffs reminded me of Leningrad Cowboys.
“Rocks Off” it’s a tasty incursion in what we generally use to call gypsy-punk, a murderous re-make of Daniel Bedingfield’s song – sounds like Gogol Bordello on steroids.
My personal favorites are: “Never Say Never”, “This Is The Day”, “Trust Me”, “Freak Show” and “Rocks Off”.
Official website: www.dirty-shirt.com
Jango Radio: www.jango.com/music/Dirty+Shirt
La Grosse Radio: www.lagrosseradio.com/artistes/dirty-shirt/