Dirty Mike & The Boys: Soup Kitchen

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Dirty Mike & The Boys: Soup Kitchen
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Dirty Mike & The Boys: Soup Kitchen
Hardcore, Punk
Self-release
February 9th, 2013
Release length: 17:11
Bandcamp
Facebook
Mike Abominator, vocalist and previous bassist of Gravehill, has been tearing up the underground world once more in the name of Powerviolence fused Hardcore Punk. Dirty Mike & The Boys is a five-piece outfit that just issued their debut EP, Soup Kitchen, as a digital download through their Bandcamp page. Citing influences from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and N.W.A., to D.R.I. and Discharge, one can’t help but wonder what kind of musical carnage lays ahead. Is this a collection of styles that probably shouldn’t be fused, or are the members having a bit of fun before treating us like a whore on a Friday night and violating us in the back of a Prius?

With the exception of the louder, far more crisp, and disgusting vocals (backing and layered included), the audio is surprisingly thick and raw for a digital format. The guitars are more mid-ranged with a matching volume level that carries a slight sharpness amid the incredibly rich distortion that exists. The subtle bass plays off this perfectly, creating a sound that superbly meshes together, though doesn’t have a really deep presence. The drums are a bit distant, but each part still fills the music. While the louder cymbal crashes don’t always have a great impact, the rest of them work out pretty well, hiding behidn the slightly wooden snares and thud of the bass kick.

Aside the instruments, there are plenty of sound bites as crisp as the vocals, often starting a song and eating a good chunk of the time. “Misery is Destiny” has a rather creepy ambient piece laid over men talking about having sex in a cop’s Prius before the rather heavy two-step fueled music kicks in. While a bit standard for today, it’s still a catchy track with a good deal of energy behind it. “Death of Me” starts out with a woman insulting someone in such a serious, dry voice before a depressing intro creeps in, shifting to nothing but unrestrained vulgarity and frustration. Not only does it boast the best audio clip, but it really is the most engaging this release has to offer, and is only faulted by the lack of an additional swear in the chorus to match the length of the music there. “Night of the Creeps” is filled with that similar fed-up attitude, lashing out about a common daily routine, but with a little petty theft later on. This one is a little slower, but it s far from being any less enthusiastic.

There isn’t much to say negatively about this release, though people not into short but fast songs, such as almost all of the Grindcore genre, may be put off by this. If you have ever heard a Mortician album, you get the idea on the audio samples, but cut them by half at the most. “Falling Down” is worth noting for being a spin on the nursery rhyme “London Bridge is Falling Down,” instead focusing on life and how crazy it is. There’s also the use of the annoying reverse horn effect that creeps up in many Techno and Rave mixes of today. With how many times it ends up used at the very start, it’s obvious the band did it just to be a bit obnoxious, and they succeeded. Finally there’s the muffled audio. Sadly, it does hurt the bite, affecting the drums more than the guitars, but ultimately helps the production quality that gives Soup Kitchen the distinct sound of a second, even third generation cassette bootleg. This atmosphere even becomes a reality in “Night of the Creeps” due to an odd “thwipping” noise that sounds like a scratch in vinyl or wrinkle on the tape. Then again, it could just be a sound bite of walking in a leaf and twig infested lawn, or quick stabs with a knife into someone or something that is too drowned out to decipher.

Soup Kitchen obviously shows a group that doesn’t really speak to the rebellious youth, but more to the irritated everyday nine-to-five adult. Instead of an album on a violent audio mission with some kind of lyrical theme, rebellious outlet, or message fueled by members that are extremely frustrated and pissed off with society or the government, Dirty Mike & The Boys appear to have just wrote material about everyday things while generally frustrated, pissed off, and wearing party hats. Soup Kitchen may sound like a bootlegged cassette, but in the end is still a fun as hell Hardcore Punk recording that retains an incredibly fun atmosphere. If you’ve had a bad day, why not grab Soup Kitchen from Dirty Mike & The BOys, a couple six-packs, some good friends, and vent your frustrations away!

01. Misery is Destiny – 2:49
02. Cops Trying to Kill Me – 2:48
03. Kill Yourself (For Someone Else) – 1:22
04. Death of Me – 1:30
05. Night of the Creeps – 2:02
06. Falling Down – 2:23
07. Soup Kitchen – 2:01
08. Stabbing You 149 Times – 2:16
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Mike Abominator.