Review: Dirt Mall – Pacifuego

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Released: February 2, 2010

Label: Daykamp Records

Dirt Mall’s last album, Got the Goat by the Horns, survived more on raw energy than on innovation or spectacular songwriting. The songs were solid, to be sure, but it was the kick behind them that really propelled the album. While that album was well-worth checking out, the band had to kick up the songwriting and originality factor without compromising on the sheer power to rock in order to move forward.

On Pacifuego, that’s just what they did. You can still hear the influences: Kiss before they got polished, Bowie’s glam period, Queen’s hard rock side. They even take a hint or two from current day heavy rock masters, Queens of the Stone Age. All that and more is wrapped up in this album and hitched to the loose, punk swagger of the Dolls or Dictators. What’s really special this time around though is that this repertoire isn’t just being regurgitated, but instead is intertwined with Dirt Mall’s own musical persona and all in a way that enhances their rock and roll powers rather than diminishes them. They continue to stay grounded and straightforward, only now with greater breadth to their sound that makes Pacifuego feel so much bigger than the last album.

In a genre that often stinks with stagnation, Dirt Mall has found a way to keep the excitement streaming. That’s no easy task. There’s still no silly pretensions here even though they’ve got a much bolder sound. Rock and roll is still in their heart.

Satriani: 6/10
Zappa: 6/10
Dylan: 7/10
Aretha: 8/10
Overall: 7/10

If you’re curious about my rating system, it’s explained here.

About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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