Music Monday - Dirty Heads - Self-titled
Considering this is Dirty Heads’ fourth album, self-titling this record does sort of seem like a promise, or at the very least, a return. Two years ago Dirty Heads released Sound of Change, which was arguably a departure from their well-established vibe. What’s their vibe? Well, for the uninitiated, Dirty Heads formed in 2003 and now tours with Sublime, Rome, and Tribal Seeds among others. So, taking that into account, it’s a fresh cup of SoCal in the morning!
"With this album you can expect the pure Dirty Heads sound at its finest--a perfect blend of hip-hop and reggae," says vocalist Jared Watson, "We have songs that range from summer anthems, songs you can vibe out to, and songs that really challenge you to think further. It's everything the Dirty Heads stand for and what we've become up until now."
Even the lyrics talk about a homecoming in "That's All I Need."
I'm feeling like old school, mixtape
That's all I need
I'm killing that low ride Sunday
That's all I need
Everybody sing, "oooh oooh oooh oooh"
There ain't no place I'd rather be
I'm talking bout right here, right now
That's all I need
If nothing is going to get you in the mood for summer in Cali, the gorgeous wide shots of the shoreline in “That’s All I Need”’s Video is going to get it ramped up. I mean, look at those gorgeous cars and those waving palm trees in the cloudless sunshine, filmed on location at Huntington Beach.
Ridiculous, I have to be there right now. Everyone is having a really rad time and Sancho’s Tacos looks great.
To be fair, we’re a bit biased here because the opening line of“That’s All I Need” talks about the crackle of vinyl, but really, putting this album on in the office had us bopping our head. We’re well into summer now, of course, but sometimes it takes some reminding when it’s pouring outside.
Obviously the reggae influence is strong- from the delivered verses to the faint steel drums in “Under the Water,” but there are homages to Californian ska as well, particularly in “Doesn’t Make You Right”’s horns. It’s distilled California, which we appreciate out here in Kentucky. Other tracks lean heavier on hip hop beats, like “Realize It,” which then follows up with a mellow distorted guitar through the bridge.
This juxtaposition is really obvious in “Moon Tower”, which is a very dreamy track compared to the rest of them. Part of that may be the lyrics: “Let’s look up at the starlit sky, let’s all go for a ride, meet me at the moon tower tonight.” At least until the verses drop. Surprise! Meanwhile, “Red Lights” pounds drums behind the bridge to a funky beat that could’ve been plucked right from the reggae greats from beginning to end.
Now, where does this actually have you playing the music? While you could pry the songs apart to put in a digital playlist, the vinyl experience is fascinating. The A and B sides are night and day- quite literally. Blasting out of the gate with “That’s All I Need” is the perfect morning hype, and maintains energy and spirit until winding down with “Too Cruel.” Flip the album and everything takes a turn for the hazy, cozy vibes of evening.
Considering you can flip the album in 10 minutes and not 12 hours, it can be a bit jarring, but it’s a fantastic bookend-album to start and end the day. “Realize It”’s thoughtful refrain follows long after the record stops turning. All and all, Dirty Heads is the perfect companion for summer days- and nights.
If this is something you dig, well cool beans. We've teamed up with Dirty Heads to make this awesome custom C200, and we're giving it away with a copy of this brand new vinyl!