Record Reviews

Dirty Tactics | It Is What It Is

Say 10 Records

I’m not going to lie about this one—when I first got a hold of this record I had some reservations. The band’s shmedium t-shirts, gauged ear plugs, and hipster-style comb overs had me wondering just what the hell I was about to get myself into. After a few listens though it was clear these guys are devoted to their punk roots, but their undertakings into newer territories are mixed at best.

Let’s start with the parts I really dug; the opener, “When You Wake Up,” brings a vigorous vitality to the forefront that sets a strong precedent for the first half of the album. “Side of the Road” is an upbeat enough number with a slight rockabilly twang to it that embraces the group’s youthfulness, and “The Process,” which deals with the inner conflict in every artist, stood out as a particularly spirited highlight, if for nothing else than the fact every writer, artist, and musician should know just what it’s like to deal with the struggles of creative output.

But then…then things start heading to parts I just couldn’t dig, starting off with “Train Song.” I’m not really sure what this is doing on the album, as it’s sort of an overly drawn-out jam session by a handful of punks, but it doesn’t really go anywhere and just feels a bit unnecessary. From there there are bits and pieces that had me bobbing my head but the rest of the record is a bit repetitive at times, especially considering nearly every song is given some kind of over-extended intro rather than just getting to the parts you really want to hear. Ultimately I wouldn’t go as far as to say the record is bad by any means, but I feel like once all their playfulness has passed and a real attitude is established this group could kick some serious ass. For now though enjoy their reckless youth—you can tell they are.

-Alexander Zeddemore


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