What was once intended to be a solo album morphed into a brand new band. Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Tony Mitchell (Kiss of the Gypsy, Kingdom of Deadmen) was wrapping up his fifth album, when he decided to pitch some songs to various labels. Escape Music founder Khalil Turk dialed up Mitchell suggesting he flesh out his tunes with some fresh talent. Viola! Dirty White Boyz was formed. With Mitchell on vocals, he's joined by Paul Hume (lead guitar) and Neil Ogden (drums) both from bands Demon and Lawless, Nigel Bailey (bass) from Bailey, Lifeline and 3 Lions, and Jamie Crees (guitar) also from Lawless.
With such impressive talent, my expectations were immediately flying high. But there are no worries here. The sound is instantly recognizable. Mitchell and his Dirty White Boyz deliver the true classic melodic hard goods. This music is straight out of its Eighties roots, spiced with a metal edge, a touch of blues, and then wrapped in AOR accessibility. The tunes are large on twin guitar harmony with sharp riffs and assertive feisty leads. The rhythm section has a deep sound and a solid groove. And Mitchell has a true, rather straight-forward and clean, rock vocal style, maybe a tad whiskey raspy, but always passionate. Actually, he doesn't sing like he looks. Seeing him in the band photo, he looks mean, ready to bite someone's head off. So, I'm thinking, maybe this guy's a growler or goes full tilt screamo. Nope. Just the opposite, and Mitchell in fine form. Like I said, now worries. It all works together.
Some mention of the songs is in order. For pure classic rock and groove, notably with that AOR glimmer, look to Playin' Dirty, Hangin' On A Heartache, and Waitin' For This Feelin' (all which the lack of the "g" in "ing"). Some real metal edge comes within the speedier Hell To Pay and the heavier, lightly bluesy, All In The Name Of Rock n Roll. A touch more heaviness and blues comes with the grinding Bring It On. Rise delivers something of an arena anthem offering a fine melody, pleasing vocal arrangement, flashy guitar work, and a catchy refrain. A true ballad comes with Ride With Angels, where you'll find Mitchell and company stealing a page out of the Bon Jovi playbook. The song has the timbre of Bed Of Roses, but maybe not quite as powerful and dramatic.
As I said, several times, it's all good. Whether by fate or the the musical muses, Mitchell took the right advice and made the right move recording Down And Dirty with the full crew of Dirty White Boyz. Fine classic melodic hard rock. Recommended.
Whether by fate or the the musical muses, Mitchell took the right advice and made the right move recording Down And Dirty with the full crew of Dirty White Boyz. Fine classic melodic hard rock. Recommended.
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