The Dirtbombs

We Have You Surrounded (In the Red)

It's getting rare to see a music career like the one the Dirtbombs have amassed. For 15-plus years, they've played a spirits-soaked strain of rock 'n' roll that would doom most bands in less than five. And in the face of current blogified brain farts — and the garage-milieu mutterings over the Dirtbombs' Wal-Mart commercial a couple of years ago — they've stayed on point with their gutter glam-bottomed, fuzz-soul explosions, adding sly layers along the way.

The group's latest, We Have You Surrounded, offers Fall-ing rhythms ("It's Not Fun Until They See You Cry," "Indivisible"), basic '60s riffs matched to some of frontman Mick Collins' most vulnerable vox ("Ever Lovin' Man"), the goofy clunker that's still funny ("Pretty Princess Day"), some smog-filled-sunset power pop ("La Fin du Monde"), and the usual exquisite taste in covers (Dead Moon's "Fire in the Western World" being tops here). Collins can still scribble keen libretti, dropping proud lowlife observations like "We'll squeeze the juice from cellphones and we'll smear it on our faces." If it's true that the Dirtbombs' frequent touring and band member shifts have perhaps engendered less excitement over the announcement of another CD, We Have You Surrounded shows the band is none the worse for wear, and, most importantly, still sounds exciting.

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