DIRTY ROSE – Rock & Roll Is My Religion (2021)

DIRTY ROSE - Rock & Roll Is My Religion (2021) full

DIRTY ROSE have been performing their ’80s paraphernalia shows for some time now and releasing standalone singles. With last year’s lockdown, it was the proper opportunity to record their debut album “Rock & Roll Is My Religion“, and darn, this is such fun listen in these troubled times.
It’s very cool to hear these young dudes playing this kind of party-going glammy hard rock with a sleazy outcast lifestyle; think the dirtier side of Skid Row with a Poison bubblegum catchy choruses and a really good production & mix.
With song titles like ’80s Baby’, ‘Saturday Night’, ‘Born to Break My Heart’, or ‘Air Guitar Hero’, you know before press play “Rock & Roll Is My Religion” will provide 37 minutes of entertainment, and very well done.

‘Turn It Up’ and the albums opening lyrics of “Rock n’ roll is my religion, it’s not a fucking disease / Heavy metal is my addiction,” foreshadows the attitude vocalist and X-Factor auditionee Sven Smith, guitarist Ben Draper, bassist Jack Price and drummer Rory Levell bring to the party. Just in case you’d doubted the boys’ intentions though, ‘Turn It Up’ immediately heralds a white hot guitar solo from Draper that’s brimful of feeling, a characteristic that appears throughout the album, and choral shouts of “get the fuck out” echo the exact quote from Skid Row’s 1991 tune of the same name.

Much of the lyrics are crude, cliche, and clever at the right times by virtue of phrasing and tonality. “Stupid, fucking lazy cu-continue on my way,” is a lyric that appears in ‘Step Off,’ another direct tribute influenced by the film and musical adaptation ‘School of Rock’ as well as the riffs in ‘Don’t Wake Your Parents Up,’ a cautionary tale of one night stands.
Levell’s stadium sized drum fills inflate ‘Heavy Metal Train,’ and Smith’s spoken voiceovers and sound effects add the boat-load of retro nostalgia they set out to ship back to this era, accentuated by Smith utilising his Air Guitar Champion skills. ‘

‘Saturday Night’ and ‘Air Guitar Hero’ follow in the same vein lyrically; emphasising and embellishing the Sunset Strip glam hard rock traditions of being lazy rebels with hedonistic rockstar ambitions and not settling for anything else, even if it means you can’t pay the rent again this month.
Among the party anthems, ‘80s Baby’ offers a more early 2000’s approach, whilst the guest growl breakdown from Break Fifty’s Hugo Knight lends ‘Birthday’ a heaviness that makes you question if it’s the same band altogether, the track sticking out like a maskless citizen on public transport.

”Rock & Roll Is My Religion” is a record of genre extremity, a direct tribute to glam rock and it’s party going, sleazy outcast lifestyle; a combination that leaves Dirty Rose at a musical crossroads without a map to guide them. The bands infectious enthusiasm and passion for rock n’ roll however will have them settle into any environment no matter which path they choose.

Boiling over with catchy guitar riffs, high octane drums, and ear-worm choruses, ‘Rock & Roll Is My Religion’ is a slice of unadulterated enjoyment for fans of ’80s American hard rock / sleazy hair metal.
Listening to the record, the brotherhood of Dirty Rose is strong and chemistry between them is palpable. Their tag line of ‘Your girlfriend’s favourite band’ may just be true, but you should also make room for them in your own playlist because ‘Rock & Roll Is My Religion’ is proof enough that these young musicians play this kind of timeless rock n’ roll for all head bangers out there.
Highly Recommended


01 – Turn It Up
02 – Step Off
03 – Boyfriend
04 – Birthday (feat. Hugo Knight of Break Fifty)
05 – Heavy Metal Train
06 – Saturday Night
07 – 80s Baby
08 – Don’t Wake Your Parents Up
09 – Born to Break My Heart
10 – Just Having Some Fun
11 – Air Guitar Hero

Sven ‘Spandex’ Smith – vocals guitar
Ben Draper – guitar
Jack Price – bass
Rory Levell – drums, cowbell



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