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Dirt Merchants

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Album Review

Drifting from laid-back, melodic pop to aggressive noise rock, Scarified, the debut album from the Boston-based Dirt Merchants, at times seems scattered, as if two separate bands recorded the album. However, the band manages to pull off both styles well, which makes the album work even though it's not that cohesive. The harder, noise-oriented songs, "Bullfight," "Purple Barrel," "Puncture," and "Mindfuck," feature loud, fuzzy guitars mixed with singer/guitarist Maria Christopher's snarling, angry screeches. On the other end of the spectrum are the pure pop songs like "Trip Trip" and "Buttercream," which are filled with light melodies, catchy choruses, and "la la las." In these songs, Christopher's voice shifts into a teasing, flirtatious coo. The album's single, "Love Apnea," is one of the best tracks. It features an interesting repetitive steel sound in combination with the repeated verse "you had me all along." The song is smooth, but at points, it breaks into jagged guitar riffs. Aside from being the type of song that sticks in your head, it's also one of the only tracks that combines both of the band's styles.


Formed: March, 1992

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Boston rockers Dirt Merchants were formed in March of 1992 by the guitar-drums brother duo of Mike and John Malone. Enlisting Maria Christopher on vocals and a college friend of Mike's on bass, Alex Kisch, Dirt Merchants issued a debut single shortly thereafter, "Mindfuck" b/w "Beware of Dog," released in 1993 on their own V-Hold label. Another single was issued in 1994, "Purple Barrel" b/w "Love Apnea," making the quartet one of Boston's fastest rising rockers on the scene (winning radio station...
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Rarified, Dirt Merchants
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