Saturday, February 28, 2009

SXSW '09 Pick #10: The DT's

The DT's

Filthy Habits
Get Hip Recordings

Given the overwhelming dose of psychedelic garage at SXSW this year, The DT's are a super double shot of balls to the wall, straight up, hard and heavy soul that stand out as a loud shock compared to the rest of this year's lineup of performing acts. Hailing from Bellingham, Washington, these hard rockers were founded on the premise of good time '70s rock with a hard does of soul. Not only do they deliver on it, they bludgeon you with it! The DT's are about being loud, dirty, and nasty. As a perspective before one hears them for the first time, think of the Ike & Tina recording of "Proud Mary" when Tina says "You see we never ever do nothing nice and easy, we always do it nice and rough" and you get the picture. When Diana Young-Blanchard belts out "I'm gonna scratch out your eyes, pull out your hair, put my boot up your ass" amidst Dave Crider's heavy riffs, it's double proof that The DT's are here to give out a rockin' beatdown. Additionally, for everyone who loves saying "More Cowbell", you've got it here! The followup "Mystified" is ample parts Malcolm Young and power drumming from Mike Van Buskirk with the longest, coolest vocal carry from Diana that's going to make every rock 'n' roll fan stand want to shake their fists in the air. This is loud, hard, pure rock 'n' roll "fuck you" attitude. Although their music has commercial appeal in hard rock, The DT's sound almost too real to end up on that route.

"Freedom", which was also recently released on Get Hip Recordings as 7 inch vinyl, embraces what The DT's are all about: Loud, heavy, unrestrained power. In this case, when we hear "freedom from sin, freedom from religion, ain't got nothing to lose", it's a more universal call to "power, self satisfaction, I want it here and I want it now." It feels damn good to look at it in the way The DT's are portraying it instead of the concept of freedom that's been distorted in the last eight years by The Bush Administration to mean one's free as long as they follow and don't question a political idealogy. The kind of freedom The DT's sing about is an open road and a more "Born To Be Wild" sense. This is followed up by the soul rockin' "Crowfinger" with a personal fire of confusion and desperation much like the true theme of soul music in the sacred combined with the profane. The pounding uptempo of "Turn Loose" is another great guitar and drum, take no prisoners brawl that's strong enough to fulfill the lyrical point of being left alone after a breakup.

The slower, dirty blues of "Red Eye" is a standout as a super heavy, early '70s, slow starting rocker that's lyrically the result of "Turn Loose", but by now, a strong picture of Filthy Habits emerges as an album that's all about freedom, getting away, and liberation. In fact, the songs start to feel more like a story than a collection of songs. The Motown influenced "Sweet Words" is a great soul lament with some down south guitar licks and for the first time, some great blues keyboards. In keeping with the unraveling story of Filthy Habits, the awesome beat of "Sugar Pie" is a new romance that feels like both an up front offer and a soul plea. This song is perhaps the biggest reminder that we've had in a long time that rock 'n' roll is about getting some action, but the final song "When The Lights Go Out" fulfills that goal when Diana let's us know "When the lights go out, there's heaven in the dark. And when the lights go out, we ain't gonna talk about much."

Everything about The DT's Filthy Habits is dirty, sexy, loud rock 'n' roll that's blood, sweat, and spit. When one utters the words "rock 'n' roll", this band is a perfect description of it. One sways back and forth, stomps their feet, screams out for it, and feels it. But what makes Filthy Habits a standout in spite of it being so pure is that with a strong female frontwoman, it's more appealing and seductive than the stereotypical male in command of rock and therefore, sex image that most people are accustomed to. In the end the story behind Filthy Habits has more guts, power, and balls than most acts claiming to be hard rock, but what makes it great rock 'n' roll is that it's got more soul than what most people call hard rock. The riffs and rhythm might sound like '70s rock, but the sound and feel is all soul and therefore, a lot harder than what's typically heard. The DT's not only rock, they efinitely roll.

Filthy Habits is available at your local indie record store or online from Get Hip Recordings

SXSW Shows:

Mar 18 2009 8:00 pm Get Hip Records Showcase Habana Calle
6709 E. 6th St.
Mar 19 2009 2:00 pm Unofficial Day Show Cheapo Records and Discs
914 N Lamar Blvd
Mar 20 2009 2:00 pm Unofficial Day Show Breakaway Records
1704 E. 5th St.

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