Band of the Month – Dirt River Radio


DRR or ‘The Dirties’ as they are commonly referred to  are a refreshing change to your average rock band. They have the ability to take classic Oz Rock, stir in some blues, roots, rockabilly, and a bit of country twang, some Celtic vibes reminiscing of the Pogues, blended with some soul to create their own unique sound. They are able to go from dirty, hard rock tunes to slower, roots/blues ballads with ease. This 6 piece of great musicians, made up of lead vocalist, 2 guitars, bass, drums and 2 female backing vocalists known as ‘the Dirtettes’ are from Melbourne and have been around the circuit in some shape or form playing live and producing high quality, authentic, heartfelt songs for around 10 years. In this time they have released 4 albums, embarked on 3 European tours and played countless of local gigs. 

Their live shows are eccentric and have that certain gritty charisma and honour about them. They can take you on a journey with their diverse set of tunes. In the space of 30 minutes you can find yourself at a rodeo somewhere in the Wild West of the USA, then drinking Guinness in a pub in Ireland or riding the high seas on a Pirate ship to sweeping the dance floors in Argentina with a tango! 

Unfortunately the future for this world class outfit is uncertain at the moment with 2 members recently getting married and moving interstate, but  in October they released their 4th studio album, Just For Kicks to keep us entertained in the meantime. Produced by the band and Richard Stolz, it’s a fantastic release, 11 tracks, (including a 26 second prelude of the last track), each bringing something different to the table, yet flows seamlessly across the album. The gruff, harsh  vocals of the lead singer and the sweet, yet seductive  harmonies from the female backing singers work great together. This is old school rock laden with strong hooks and choruses, great lyrics and story telling, and it’s full of groove. Stand outs for me are the opening track Kill Everyone in the Room, the emotionally raw Heartbreak Radio, the toe-tapping, infectious Kiss of the Year, West Coast Hurt, where one of the ‘Dirtettes’ takes over lead vocals, the gang vocal at the end is a nice added touch, His Electric Eye and the closing track, a true story When I Was 18. Overall a brilliant, honest album that showcases the diversity of this rock ‘n’ roll outfit, one which just about everyone can find something to like on it.

I hope this is not the end of the Dirties and they are able to continue on in some form, but if it is, they’ve gone out with a bang! 

Just For Kicks album available here:-




-Sonia Donnabella.

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