BY STEVE WALKER | Go Venue Magazine
Album due out on Friday, October 18, 2019 via Hummus Records
The roots of psychedelic rock from the 60’s and 70’s were a masterclass in the technical infusion of talent and chemically induced insight into the world. The likes of Phil Spector, Dave Clark Five and some of The Beatles later tracks are genre bound. Did you really think that ‘I am The Walrus’ was not written without an influence of acid?
As the genre moved, the more polished YES, Jefferson Airplane, Teenage Dream and so on, gave way to a harder and heavier sound that can be captured in the Led Zeppelin sound. Nothing however stays the same and the movement moved on and we are where we are….. Enter Dirty Sound Magnet from Switzerland…. For their third album, they plugged the self-produced album direct in the mixing desk to elicit an authentic sound and tested and adjusted each element to fashion the album. Together for ten years, they have been refining an artistic and creative base to retune through old school techniques and fusing modern society through the psychedelic mindview of Transgenic – Psychadelic dream rock is having a resurgence!
The Sound and Style
Dirty Sound Magnet have a raw mystic rock power and composition style that is unique at present. Instrumentation and sound are used as art forms to express in a dynamic and communicative way. This comes in the form of lead vocal and two way backing vocal, guitar using a broad range of effects and techniques. Bass that in places acts as lead and drums as an engine room. There is an alternative and sub-indie flavour and the vocal in tracks like Social Media Boy have a vague quality of Beck and softer Kurt Cobain resonance. The musical styling is uncompromising and the tracks follow a pattern and are generally played differently each time they are played live. This was a successful technique for Jimi Hendrix, The Clash and the vocal punk shouts in specific tracks on the album are reminder of the energy and rawness the band have. The softener uses reverb and echo vocal to add to the Transgenic Vibe.
The manufactured synth sound through guitar refinement and old school desk techniques are no doubt a replication of the Pete Townsend mode of sound production over clinical accuracy. This can be heard on tracks such as Social Media Boy;
True rock was credited in the early days for not offering any compromise, just being itself and not playing to a potential audience but playing for the will to play and send a message – Dirty Sound Magnet have this quality to their repertoire. The material is charged, distinct, fluid and critically observant of the world. The guitar uses dry lead riffs driven through low bass amplification and is a good feature to the acid jazz influences the are organically present. Bass patterns are erratic and yet in place causing mood and carrying the flow. The drumming appears casual and within psychedelic rock has to blend using style to produce emphasis – underplaying in percussion is evidence of clear talent.
Track by Track
Organic Sacrifice – A hypnotic and raw groove into the urban landscape and critical examination of the impacts a future world may have. The use of suppressor on instrumentation mimics the lyrical expose of youth marginalization, human inaction and societal oppression that is manufactured.
USA LSD BNB HIV – The world we live in and the many abbreviated tokens of language are discussed in parallel to the Transgenic world that Dirty Sound Magnet are showcasing – there is a realism in this track that is monotonous and draws you into the awareness of global replication and monotony.
Rigid Soul – The principle that we are becoming trapped by our own world is raised in this track whilst the freedom of the music elicits change through art – a heavy interpretation of an almost HG Wells analysis of contemporary society.
Skull Drawing Rose – At nearly nine minutes, this epic uses rotating riff and almost Ska feel to supply a Pink Floyd narrative that emulates The Wall, when you can pull off a version of your own as a band, you are doing it right!
Social Media Girl – A reprise in focus only to Social Media Boy offers a transparent narrative relating to the demonic nature of social media and the limitation of individuality that is an asset of our personal beauty.
Transgenic – A 37 second short instrumentally that is almost a parody of the world and the world of the movie Labyrinth, you can almost visualize David Bowie as Jareth as a gesture to the modern Transgenic world that Dirty SoundMagnet claim.
Social Media Boy – The first of a gendered analysis of how the virtual world is determinate of behavior and compliance. The throw back through the lyrics is insightful and fuels the need for change. Musically, the track is fast paced and driven forcing the key phrase “You don’t know what you’re doing” and is catchy and will be a favorite in the live venues for the band.
Hashtag Love – The insight into how the world has changed every intimate aspect of our lives. The commercialization of love – an astonishing take on a day in the life, categorized only by single phrase comments and the obvious ‘Likes’ that are received; Dirty Sound Magnet are arguing that there is more to love than this!
The Death of Beauty – Soft acoustic intro to emulate beauty in personification that disturbs with a choral vocal that adds a darkness in the undertones. Snatches of electric play underneath and all the notion of the Transgenic world is heard without lyrics to a fade out of the world you have just experienced.
The album is not superficial and discusses a superficial world and requires more than one listen through to distinguish the intellectual base of lyric and form. The enormous range of influences will spark a massive range of audiences and there is some insightful honesty in a working band making the music they want, producing themselves and accentuating each component to peak output. This album is well worth a thorough listen and it is fantastic to see something new out on the scene that challenges, disrupts and has elevated 90’s grunge and Alternative Brit Pop through a 60’s Psychedelic lens and smashed at society with an anarchic and wide ranging observation.
The band are currently touring Europe until May next year and will be festival ready for the 2020 summer circuit. Dates and future tour information via the band website.
Stavros Dzodzosz (guitar and lead vocals)
Marco Mottolini (bass and backing vocals)
Maxime Cosandey (drums and FX vocals)