Album Review: Dirty Clean Sexy Mean | Echo Strike
'Dirty Clean Sexy Mean' is introducing itself as a funky 'bad boy', committed to getting through to us and make us move to the groovy beats and guitar. It's obvious from the very beginning, that we are talking about an indie pop/rock band that borrows elements from funk and even disco at times, seasoning all that with a secret vintage flavor that is hard to grasp and explain its origin.
'1978' is a perfect example of this wondrous mix, followed by a revision of the Guns N Roses
anthem 'Sweet Child of mine'. What we see here is a well-thought, upbeat version of the song, with Echo Strike carefully offering a few electronic touches here and there, with attention to detail and respect to the original. Now would be a good moment to mention how Randy, the band's frontman, could effortlessly explore country music if he ever feels like it! Next up we enter the dance-floor for a while with 'Making the Jive' only to land into more romantic territories afterwards where love takes over with all its ups (Her Smile) and hardship (Work To do).
As the second half of the album unfolds, I fall in love instantly. I'm infatuated by the instrumental of the song 'Leaving' which feels like a small 'break', a pause from a 7-track party. And here we are left to rest into the emotional state of a sad but inevitable goodbye. And then, without losing its character, the music takes us from a more experimental place 'Up for it' back to its groovy side for a while with 'Dangerous Woman' and, for the first time, into a darker place with 'The stranger' and 'Demons'. The later one is successfully giving the chills from the very first seconds and also managed to win a special place in my heart.
Since the middle of the album, it feels like we are riding on a roller-coaster of moods and influences but without anything falling off the train! It's all tied perfectly into one place. The course progresses, and the track 'Alone' sounds like the brother of 'Up for it' while 'Listen Hard' reminds us how self-awareness and personal growth is a necessary precondition for a loving relationship to thrive, with Randy stating boldly 'Can you change?'. The end of the ride comes to seal my point that country music would make a perfect fit for the band, and maybe it is happening right now in a parallel universe!
The way this body of work balances so many genres and styles in one place is outstanding and hard to compare. 'Dirty Clean Sexy Mean' is an album that is destined to make one's day in its own unique way, much unlike the commercial 'hits' we are usually fed as a pill for a temporary uplift.
Closing this exciting experience, I feel like Echo Strike gave us something beautiful to come back to whenever we need relief from the stressful loop of life.