Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Cosmic Cars” by The Dirtbombs from their 2011 release Party Store on In The Red Records.
Coming out of Detroit, The Dirtbombs frontman Mick Collins’ conceptual dream of bottom heavy noise gorging out the soundscape using diverse influences came to be in 1997 when their seven-inch debut appeared on record store shelves. Collins started the group as a side project from his main act The Gories.. Since then, the often changed up Dirtbombs lineup created more and more singles, and dabbled in different styles. They released their first full-length, Horndog Fest, in 1998 and centered the concept around one musical style. 2001’s Ultraglide in Black featured covers of vintage Detroit R&B and soul gutted out and garaged up. Thanks to Ultraglide in Black, they have a niche for deconstructing classic genre-defining tracks and sometimes forcibly fitting them into the box of garage, punk, ruckus.
When “Cosmic Cars” is put up next to any other cover song, it feels like an unstoppable driving force of girthy musical refreshment . On another listen, knowing the origins of the band and the song itself, a quirky dissonance begins to germinate. The latest album, Party Store, draws influence from classic Detroit techno tracks. The precision and control, repetition and coolness are king with the Cybotron techno that influenced “Cosmic Cars,” but The Dirtbombs take this genre by its ankles and shake the change loose. They reinvent it. Today’s song handles the precision and coolness like a well oiled machine, but uglifies it and plays up the interchangeability between techno synths and guitar riffs. The vocals, drastically different from typical Dirtbombs fare are gravelly, rotten and are the only thing that can trudge through the bottom-heavy, yet satisfyingly rhythmic sludge emulsified by the double drums, double guitar and guttural bass.
So far there are no tour dates for The Dirtbombs, but stay tuned to their MySpace page for updates or more music and info. The incredible live show is not to miss, so until they come to your town check out this live video from Montreal.