February 22nd, 2013 | Album reviews

Amy Hagemeier

Dirt Dress

This is a smart and tuff and raggedly righteous album, post-punk in the hack-and-slash mode a la the nasty pre-Pink Flag Wire and Hex Enduction-era Fall (whose production and spirit does mysterious work deep within Dirt Dress) and DIY punk like L.A.’s first untameable Dangerhouse-What?-Fatima-maybe-we-should-start-a-label-ourselves wave. First song comes out snarling like (Australian) X’s “Suck Suck” and the Monks’ “Monk Chant,” and then we got singer Noah as Mark E., Jr. speak-shouting about, “Stray cats! Go and find your home! Wrap yourself in bandages! Find the capital building!” I love the 13th Floor Elevators underwater space guitar, and the rhythm section that sounds like a mountain falling down a mineshaft, and the way every song ricochets off the impenetrable everyday incoherence of modern life, and there’s lots more to love past that, too. But let’s make some special time to hang out with “Weight Of Time,” the happysad slow-mo track four that starts with a D. Boon declaration of righteous confusion: “Strange connotations! In a land of milk and honey … I struggle to see what it is all about.” Mr. Narrator, this is just the kind of thing that makes perfect sense to me.

Chris Ziegler