Anger is an energy….Dirteens… album review

Well the flowers of Crimson Bloom may of wilted but whilst lesser musicians would go dry and crusty at the side of the road, song writing machine Andrew Johnson just gets new shoots and grows again.

This time he is angry and frustrated and put all of this into a new album of songs titled Dirteens which is a great name for a band as well.

It’s punky rock meets The Fall but sung by Paul Heaton (assume he gets fed up with the comparison).

Kicking off with Good to Kiss a punky pop number that sets the scene nicely, all jangle and attitude, lyrically impressive about a nightmare girl that’s good to kiss, it ends with a nod to The Ting Tings, that’s not my name…. probably.

The album is more reminiscent in fact of the mid 80’s Indie scene – before dance culture and American grunge took hold – its very much like the songs Anti Thatcher songwriters released around that time and its relevance to current social plights and injustice rings true now sadly.

The song Jesus Christ Superstore is probably my favourite off the album – its a song about food banks and covid bulk buying and includes the best line of a song I have heard all year – “I’ve died for your sins, in the bargain bins, but don’t forget the points now” Genius.

Comparisons to current contemporary artists need to be mentioned – if you like the music of Yard Act or DC Fontaines, then you will love this – its got that kinda feel to it.

Silver Barbarians and Amazonland are also great songs – Andy writing about what he is seeing and hearing in his day to day life – its got that Jarvis Cocker humdrum style which works wonderfully.

Other songs like Grey Sky Thinking and Candy Wrapper have a more early Housemartins lilt to them – London 0 Stockton on Tees 4 – maybe. Its a bit lazy of me to compare AJ voice to Paul Heatons but I’m sure he will appreciate it’s a compliment to his huge talent and ear for a song.

So whilst I continue to lament the end of Crimson Bloom, this album has filled a little pot of joy and I’m really interested and hopeful that AJ explores this style further.

Direteens is available now on Bandcamp:

Please check it out and let me know what you think.



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