The Dirty Heads, a reggae/hip-hop/alternative band led by Dustin Bushnell and Jared Watson, have had plenty of highs and lows concerning the release of their debut full-length CD.
The highs–getting to record their songs with such top notch talent as keyboardist Billy Preston (the recently deceased “Fifth Beatle”), Korn drummer Josh Freese, and Beastie Boys mix magician Mario C. The lows–disagreements with the band’s record label, Warner Brothers, which ultimately led the Dirty Heads to leave the major record company without releasing their debut.
Fortunately for Bushnell and Watson though, they kept full control of those recordings and they have finally been able to release them. Thus, here comes Any Port In A Storm which will be available on Sept. 23 and it is a very good introduction to the band.
The Dirty Heads can do plenty of things well as evident by the CD’s first four songs which cross genres beautifully. Hip-hop beats and rapping fill out the opening track “Neighborhood” while a great shuffling reggae beat enlivens “Stand Tall.” Bushnell and Watson also show their flair for catchy melodies as “Shine” and “Driftin” feature strong pop choruses.
That solid beginning, however, overshadows the middle songs which fail to resonate. “Taint” continues with the hip-hop beats but it just is not as fun as the former songs and “Insomnia” nearly drags the party-vibe of the CD to a halt because it is too laid back.
Luckily, Any Port In A Storm redeems itself in fine style in its last third with good songs like the acoustic soul of “Chelsea” and “Everything I’m Looking For” and the pleasant ode to the band’s musical influences which are name checked in “Believe.”
Overall, this recording is a fine showing of the Dirty Heads’ talent and things should only get better for the band (which also includes percussionist Jon Olazabal and drummer Matt Ochoa) as its sound grows. Proof of that is evident already with the band’s entertaining cover of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” which is available only on the Dirty Heads’ website.
Words By: Todd Sikorski