These streets are paved with dirt

rough and tumbleRough And Tumble - The Dirty Streets (Alive Naturalsound)

They might not realise it but Califonian label Alive Naturalsound have cornered the market in hirsute bands playing psych-laced, Southern fried boogie rock with a dash of soul. The Dirty Streets might be the label's archetypal flag-fliers.

They lack the massive guitar jam excesses of Radio Moscow, the rustic dryness of the early Black Keys or the home-grown stoner full-tilt boogie strut of Left Lane Cruiser (all of them label mates, past or present) but The Dirty Streets share the same zipcode.

Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, The Streets are a lean power trio that smokes like the bastard sons of Humble Pie and Creedence. They might be young in rock and roll terms but The Dirty Streets are five studio albums into this caper. "Rough and Tumble" is from a live-to-air streaming show and drips with the finely-wrought blues rock licks and lightly swaggering feels that are, by now, undoubtedly ingrained.

The back-story goes that Austin-born Justin Toland (guitar-vocals) moved to the capital of fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches at age 17. He found a kindred spirit in bassist Thomas Storz and they teamed with a series of drummers before making Andrew Denham the full-time third Street.

Toland's soulful vocal suits the cover of "Walk a Mile In My Shoes" to a tee but it's well-crafted originals like the slide-driven "Itta Benna" and the brash Steve Marriott-chanelling "Good Pills" that should make you pay attention.

"Can't Go Back" sounds like it staggered out of an all-night recording session at Muscle Shoals, blinked at the midday sun and slithered back inside to finish some very minimal overdubs. "The Voices" ramps it all down a touch and is smartly paired with "On The Way", a wistful ballad.

As they're from a live-in-the-studio exercise, these 10 songs are naturally unadorned. The songwriting is likewise nothing fancy but if you're like the band members who grew up on their fathers' record collections, the music will fit you like an old shoe. Stone The Black Crowes, there are many worse ways to while away half an hour. 

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Tags: alive naturalsound , boogie pimps, humble pie, the dirty streets, rough and tumble, black crowes, creedence clearwater revival, justin toland

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