Nothing like a bit of rock n’ roll that’ll get your day going or even lift up your spirits, right? Dirty Fun by the New York City based rock n’ roll band The Compulsions is something that’ll get your day going, lift your spirits or even have you craving for some action! The band comprises of legendary Guns N’ Roses Richard Fortus on lead guitar and Frank “Thunderchucker” Ferrer on drums, the great Sami Yaffa of the timeless New York Dolls and Rob Carlyle on Vocals.
The album opens with the track ‘Hellhound Babies’ which sets pretty high expectations from the album. This track is characterized by the blues inspired rock guitar playing techniques which give it a really rustic and classic feel to it, leaving you wanting more. The album takes a sudden turn when the second track ‘Silly Little Woman’ comes on. The sudden drop in intensity and slow melodic-ism comes rather unexpected but the composition doesn’t disappoint despite the contrast. Trust me, you did not see this sudden turn coming after the peppy nature of the opening track. Although, then the album begins to show better clarity in its musical direction which is characterized by more melodic elements, a gradual build up in tempo and vocals that are full of emotional content. The track ‘Evil Bastards’ is built on some really nice vocal abilities by Rob Carlyle, melodic guitars and a complimenting rhythm section. From here on, the versatility is obvious.
Songs like ‘Long Tall Sally’ and ‘House of Rock’ which has have all the right ingredients to put you in the groove and get lost in this musical ecstasy of bluesy rock n’ roll that takes you back in time with the likes of New York Dolls, Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones. One could defiantly see the influence in play. It leaves you tapping your feet, and dancing along with the groove. It really brings out the fun in music and leaves you with this unexplainable grin on your face the first time you hear this. It is endless fun. One track that stood out was ‘The Feel’ which has a catchy bass intro with vocals that were more of a spoken style with slight melodic-ism which leaves it with a spooky feeling. It would certainly leave you chanting “They were the coolest band in the world.” This song has that slow romanticized feel of intimacy in its music that displays the bands versatility. This song acts like the narrative of the band and uses the element of seriousness in the instrumental arrangements here. It’s brilliant what the band has done.
As we reach the end of the album, we stumble upon the song ‘Stay Easy’ and its one song that simply can’t be disliked. The organ and bass in the song presents a calming sound added to its wonderful lyrical content and Rob Carlyle’s singing. This is sure to make you take things easy in the future. The album ends with the instrumental track ‘Buzz Awhile’ which is defined by its fancy blues and rock fusion approach and leaves a pleasant feeling. Being an instrumental track, it is something that you can relate to in your own way as it ends. Perhaps this leaves us with a feeling of intimacy with the music here and through the album’s crazy turns and arrangements, this is the best ending. You are just there with the music. It’s like an incarnation of a rather adventurous day and ends with a soothing pleasant evening as the day fades to an end. A pleasant ending is what we really want, and the album’s ending is a realization of that desire.
Conclusion: Why do less when you can certainly do more? Possibly this is the principle that the band followed for their debut album and it certainly highlights the efforts the band has taken in doing more in regard to music and composition. The impressive line-up of The Compulsions doesn’t leave you disappointed. The band explores various sounds across all their songs and this ensures that the album would not be static in regard to its sound and results quite a bit of versatility. The instrumentation is really good, easy to listen to and enjoyable. Neither of the instruments run over the other and compliments the vocals and each other. Further, the guitar solos apart from being merely catchy, it has its moments of emotional fulfilment that a listener can feel. It isn’t some random scales played to make a solo for the sake of a guitar solo. You will actually notice the intricacies in these parts. The album covers a wide array of music that includes fun, an aspect of naughty-ness and lots of groove without compromising on the overall musical quality and appeal to first time listeners.
The vocals include singing and talking and various degrees in between that complement the instrumentation with ease. The vocals express elements of intimacy, passion, and a lot of energy and fun. The vocals do not lack depth and are dynamic and rather charismatic. Soon enough, you will definitely want to sing along these songs rather carefree and excited. The production is good and not that great. In regard to production quality, there is still potential to exploit the inherent richness of the music. Nonetheless, a job well done by the band who have also self-financed this debut album of theirs. For some of you it could really take a while before you really feel the essence of this album and dig into it.
Overall, this album is enjoyable and it isn’t boring or messy. There will be instances where any of the songs wouldn’t appeal to you at first impression. The album opened and ended well. Give it a listen, it is one of things that you would not want to miss. If you’ve been looking around for some rock n’ roll inspired by a dash of blues, some fancy guitar solos, thumping bass lines, groovy drum parts, and sleazy vocals; this is for you.