From: New York
Genre: Surf pop-influenced Garage Rock n Roll
Ok go ahead… You have our permission… Go ahead and call us out for being the Johnny-(Thunder)-come-latelies that we are for only just discovering this unique blend of Garage Rock and Power Pop. Unique in this case being the added dashes of Surf-pop, sprinkles of Hard Rock riffage and undeniable intensity put forth over these 13 tracks of fuzzed out greatness, emanating from the seeds of Chuck Berry and straight through the doors of CBGB’s (via The Beatles and an array of distortion pedals).
Although the band formed in 2009 and released their latest LP Full Tramp in 2015, featuring the Ramones-influenced classic “Judy (Don’t Go)”, oddly comparable to Steve Harley and Simple Minds in its vocal arrangement, and Garage Pop beauty “Give Me A Kiss”, it was their 2013 effort Too High To Kross that really raised the bar. Regardless of whether the album title has anything to do with fellow rockers Redd Kross, for a debut record to have such a powerful and timeless feel, it only seems dutiful to put the word out to our readers and listeners who may also be in the same boat (outside of the “Dirty Fence” if you will), for Dirty Fences really do ‘bring it’ over the course of this record and although they have already gained a pretty strong following in both their home country and also overseas, you may not have come across them yet, and for that reason you must check them out immediately.
Opening up with catchy number “Kilsythe”, the apparent girl in subject becomes the standard carbon copy character in what is lyrically very Ramones-tinged, with a rocky Flop-esque melody and chorus of “Kilsythe does just what she’s told, because she’s mine” ranking in high on the popometer. “All I Want” follows on and kicking in with what is arguably the bassline of the decade, the fast punchy beat does nothing but compliment this Garage Rock gem. Somewhat familiar to a few of The Strokes‘ best moments, you can smell New York permeating from its pores and clocking in at just over two minutes, this is probably the one you’ll be spinning back a few times before continuing on. Fast, fuzzy and fantastic.
Probably all the aforementioned artists, including Mr. Harley, contribute influence on next track “What’s That Strange” before the very slightly more Hard Rock number “Heaven Is Tonight” distortedly powers itself in to what becomes a killer chorus with an even more killer hook, whaling its way out at just 1:48 in superb Hellacopters fashion and leaving you literally salivating, trying to comprehend exactly what just happened. “Meet Me at the Door” then reverts to the classic lo-fi sounds of Garage Rock, tip-toeing the fine line on the border of Power Pop, much in the vein of The Star Spangles and their innocent breakdowns.
Ploughing through what you could call the filler “Under Your Leather”, by no means weak but more a generic extension of the band’s sound rather than unique or stand out in the way most of the rest are, we are then treated to something altogether different. In fact, having the so-called ‘filler’ positioned just before track “Kings Cross” makes it even that more sweet. What we have here is the Garage sound of Dirty Fences with an injection of 60’s Pop in the form of Herman’s Hermits, at least for the chorus, sitting on a slow drip of Country twang. Couldn’t ask for more really; what a treat it is. “White Lies”, fast and on the Punk side of Rock and Roll then parts way for “Kreistalrite” with its filthy riffage again providing compliment to the harmonic Flop-like vocals and underlying energy of Misfits and Ramones with its chorus “Christ alright… Tonight”. The great basswork by Max Comaskey really takes this one to the next level, prominent in the mix and full of confidence, giving not only this song, but the overall album, a potent groove.
The last real taste of Pop perfection then makes itself heard under a mesh of fuzz and distortion as “Rose in a Vice” once again hums the rhythm and harmony of Ramones and their more modern day torch-carriers, such as the young ‘Swim-era’ Emily’s Army.
As Too High To Kross then begins its descent it does seem that the final few tracks could have been left out, but maybe that is because of the great diversity provided on the record in what is already such a tight genre for experimentation. “Always on My Mind” still demands the dancing shoes and “R.S.C” reminds us to not forget the Punk influence on their sound. “Nickels & Dimes” then closes out perfectly on a marginally more relaxed tip, reminding us that no matter what label we give it, it really is just Rock and Roll.
Dirty Fences are currently mid-way through a tour of Europe. Having already conquested Amsterdam and the UK, you still have chance to catch them as they roll extensively through Italy before reaching Germany for the final shows. Here are the remaining dates:
10.6. SPAZIO 4 – Piacenza IT
11.6. HANDMADE FEST – Guastalla, Reggio Emilia IT
12.6. MATANZA FEST – Loreto, Ancona IT
13.6. MASTER CLUB – Teramo IT
14.6. COROPUNA – Roma IT
16.6. BEER BEACH – Cagliari IT
17.6. SA SPENDULA – Villa Cidro IT
18.6. THE HOR – Sassari IT
20.6.SECRET LOCATION TBA – Sardegna IT
23.6. PARCO GIOCHI – Villimpenta, Mantova IT
24.6. CLUB GOLDMARKS – Stuttgart DE
25.6. BADEHAUS SZIMPLA – Berlin DE
27.6. HAFENKLANG – Hamburg DE
28.6. CAFE TIKE – Erfurt DE
29.6. HUNNERMANHATTAN – Halle DE
Check out the album, along with the rest of their back catalogue here: Dirty Fence’s Bandcamp page.
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