Sunday 3 April 2011

Dirty Beaches - Badlands

Album review by KevW

This article also appears on

Dirty Beaches (the one man project of Alex Zhang Hungtai) wears his influences on his sleeve. A battered, torn sleeve that's probably never seen a washing machine. His debut album consists of just 8 tracks.

'Speedway King' comes over like like a badly recorded Suicide bootleg from 1978; 'Horses' could be The Cramps jamming with Elvis at the bottom of a swamp; 'Sweet 17' is a pissed Gene Vincent demoing a potential future single which his record company will probably reject; 'A Hundred Highways' makes you think of The Raveonettes before they learnt to play properly and had Vic Reeves' club singer on vocals; 'True Blue' manages to take one of the most beautiful songs of all time (The Ronettes' 'Keep On Dancing') and reduce it to total dirge; 'Lord Knows Best' is a doo-wop pastiche seemingly recorded on a very primitive tape recorder; 'Black Nylon' is an instrumental that goes nowhere and most bands wouldn't even consider as a b-side, and finally 'Hotel' gloomily crackles it's way through 2 minutes of nothingness.

All of which sounds like a pretty shit review, right? Wrong. Badlands is flipping brilliant!

Free download: Sweet 17
Free Download: Lord Knows Best

Dirty Beaches on Myspace

Buy the album.

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