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Dirty Shirley – Dirty Shirley Award winner

Dirty Shirley
Dirty Shirley
by Mike McMahan at 17 March 2020, 8:25 PM

George Lynch had recorded the first four studio albums with the legendary DOKKEN, plus the live effort “Beast From the East” (as well as the first LYNCH MOB record “Wicked Sensation”), well before vocalist Dino Jelusick (ANIMAL DRIVE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA) was born. I mention that only to accentuate the generational variation on this first release from DIRTY SHIRLEY. Lynch is certainly a wily vet of the Metal/Hard Rock industry and an absolute guitar icon to many, including myself. I was anticipating the release date with the anticipation of a child on Christmas morning. There were some unknowns going in, as I was unfamiliar with Jelusick and bassist Trevor Roxx, and knew of drummer Will Hunt only from his days with EVANESCENCE and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY (which you would think would be enough, right?). Listening to this album finally, as a fan, I could not be happier.

Lynch has assembled these musicians well, each bringing their individual strengths to their respective roles, and his co-production with Jelusick and Alessandro Del Vecchio is spot on. The album sounds amazing, front to back, and as near as I can tell, there isn’t a wasted note anywhere on it.

The first thing that struck me on the opener, the majestic “Here Comes The King,” was just how mature Dino Jelusick’s voice really is. The guy is amazing, with a range that is seemingly endless and a menace in his voice that instantly put in my mind, the iconic Ronnie James Dio. Musically speaking, the track does not disappoint. Everyone is 100% on their game here, and George Lynch has not sounded better since 1987’s “Back For The Attack” release from DOKKEN.

The album’s second cut, “Dirty Blues,” shows the band taking a slightly different direction. The song showcases some great bluesy licks from Lynch and allows Jelusick an opportunity to showcase a David Coverdale inspired vocal. It also allows him to share a bit of his sense of humor and personality, with the very funny lyric: “Guess who gets to sing the blues… the only guy with no tattoos.”

I can honestly say that it was George Lynch and his guitar that brought me to this party, but it is going to be Jelusick and his vocal prowess that keep me here. This young man is an amazing talent, and that will not be a secret for too much longer. He cuts through the eleven songs on this album like they were his birthright, and all Coverdale and Dio references aside, truly reminds me of the late Ray Gillen with his bravado and ability. Everything about this record is a positive, but his performance is over the fucking top. Run to it.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Here Comes The King
2. Dirty Blues
3. I Disappear
4. The Dying
5. Last Man Standing
6. Siren Song
7. The Voice of a Soul
8. Cold
9. Escalator to Purgatory
10. Higher
11. Grand Master
Lineup:
Dino Jelusick – Vocals
George Lynch – Guitars
Will Hunt – Drums
Trevor Roxx – Bass
Record Label: Frontiers Records
     


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