Hot Dark Metal Revival

Forget Black Sabbath. Don't even mention The Darkness. Dirty Power will lead the hard rock revolution to come.

Perhaps what needs to happen for Dirty Power to achieve the widespread attention that its songs merit is some sort of full-blown hard rock and metal revival that would completely take over the airwaves and force MTV to introduce true headbanging back into its daytime rotation. But what are the chances of that?

According to Live 105 music director Aaron Axelsen, the idea isn't half-baked: "There's a cyclical pattern to how a style of music rises to popularity. Younger listeners are much more prone to latching onto something unfamiliar. In fact, sometimes the distance is necessary; kids often won't go for something an older sibling listens to out of that desire of discovery.

"Music that has a second wave of popularity usually skips a generation [and] every new movement in the modern rock era has had a flagship band like Nirvana or The White Stripes. Look at The Darkness. They ended up being more of a novelty band, but the potential was there. If a band came along and somehow combined the hooks of The Darkness with the edge of, say, Queens of the Stone Age, it could happen."

Mention of The Darkness and that band's histrionic, bodystocking-clad invasion of MTV this past summer elicits varying reactions from the members of Dirty Power. When I brought up the subject to Goodwin and Perrone, they looked at each other, let out sighs, and started laughing. Perrone deferred to his bandmate in giving the response, waving him on: "You get more passionate about it ..."

Goodwin shook his head and gave a bemused chuckle. "I don't hate them, but I don't see why people got so freaked out about them," he said. "I thought it was silly and cute and fun, but then I started seeing all these articles about how they were the saviors of rock 'n' roll. It was the cheese factor that definitely turned me off."

Ulman unloaded more serious vitriol in an e-mail: "It's all the label's way of making a 'pseudo-metal boy band,' and I ain't havin' any of it ... I'm sure when their tour bus crashes and kills them, Phil Lynott will be there with a rusty nail in a 2x4 waiting to kick some ass, poltergeist-style."

In truth, if Lynott were still around today, the hard-living Irishman would probably give Dirty Power's gritty anthems the nod over the affected unitard gimmickry of The Darkness. And even if we're at a point in history when the masses enjoy their iron-fisted riffs with a side order of irony, there will always be a sizable audience for the primal fury of testosterone-fueled guitars. And when MTV tries to pass off some group of young, perfectly coiffed, rail-thin poseurs in leather pants and vintage metal T-shirts as the next objects of retro-rock idolatry, the metal men of Dirty Power will emerge from the shadows, knock the skinny kids from their perch, and triumphantly assume their rightful place as heirs to the throne of hard rock.

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