The Dirtball Crook County **1/2 About four years ago, I lost a Battle of the Bands competition to The Dirtball in my hometown of Bend, Oregon. Now, he’s still a far better rapper than I and his songs are still based on the dirty, subtly white-trash teenage-hood that came with growing up in Central Oregon.
The DirtballCrook County**1/2About four years ago, I lost a Battle of the Bands competition to The Dirtball in my hometown of Bend, Oregon. Now, he’s still a far better rapper than I and his songs are still based on the dirty, subtly white-trash teenage-hood that came with growing up in Central Oregon. With odes to tripping out on mushrooms, relieving working-class angst in moshpits and riding the range with the “Crook County Killaz,” The Dirtball is telling a relatable, if somewhat unglamorous, tale. Despite all odds, his rap-rock and mock-hyphy beats work most of the time, and Crook County is consistently professional, even if lacking in originality.
Recent collaborations with The Kottonmouth Kings and Suburban Noize Records have sharpened The Dirtball’s approach, and I could see tracks such as “I’m Not” and “Crook County Killaz” rocking a party with reasonable competence…. Of course, that’s assuming I can get over the fact that he’s constantly name-dropping a region whose two largest industries are golf resorts and alfalfa farming.
Either way, The Dirtball has delivered a competent record that, if nothing else, at least proves that he’s more than capable of taking my ass to school at the next Old Mill District Battle of the Bands and Chili Cookoff.
Dirtball will play the Roseland Grill on June 1, $12.-Shane Danaher
These are the two most important things you need to know about Vancouver, Canada’s Ladyhawk: 1) Most of their songs are in the shambling slacker mode of ’90s indie rock giants Pavement. Y’know, jangly guitars, mumbling vocals, deliberately rough-around-the-edges recording. 2) On the back cover of Shots, there is a picture of the band members, naked, spitting what appears to be a mixture of urine and mayonnaise on one another.
Together, those two things don’t add up to much–but that’s kind of the point. Ladyhawk are a side project of a bigger and better band, Black Mountain, and it shows. Sure, Shots has its moments of pure rockin’ awesomeness, and all of its songs are tightly constructed and properly written (“Corpse Paint” is especially good), but this album is just OK and nothing more.
Ladyhawk will play the Towne Lounge on May 31, $8.-Ed Johnson