Dirty Sound Magnet – What Lies Behind (2012) – Review

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A friend of mine dragged me to a concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival to see these guys live. To see Dirty Sound Magnet? WTF? Dirty who?

On the menu: What Lies Behind. And I admit, I had no idea what to expect.

I found myself in a small concert hall with that atrocious bunker feeling. You know, these sweaty walls, this closed feeling, and stuffy atmosphere. Some might call that cozy, but to me, it felt oppressive. Not that the band had any say in it. And you know what? It probably is (or was) a bunker at one point. Stuffy and no air, but great sound. With the band performing their – at that time – first and only record.

Dirty Sound Magnet projects lovingly crafted songs in a bluesy, rocky style reminiscent of the 70’s, brought to life by this Swiss (Yes! Not US) band around Didier Coenegracht, supported by an excellent Stavros Dzodzos on the lead guitar. Some Led Zeppelin elements leisurely thrown in with Hendrix style lines. The kind of old groovy stuff that we have seen over the years. A style that is somewhat out of fashion these days, and surely not at this level of high-energy performance.

What Lies Behind does need some getting used to, though. And – in truth – with only 9 songs in their repertoire by the time of the concert, they must all count. Not all do, and there could be a little more oomph and juice to the sound at times. During the concert, I was always waiting for the sound to take us to space. But – whilst good and well performed – it never quite came. 

The album really takes off with Mike’s Awakening, followed by an excellent Mr. Robert, a superb blues style concoction. What Lies Behind could have the stuff to get into the charts. But whilst it is great, it somehow misses this little something that would kick it up a notch or two.

The cherry on the cake – however – comes at the end.

Free Castle Town is a song you would like to listen to on a hot, humid evening. On the porch with a cold beer, looking out over the swamp, listening to the sounds of the night beasts.

In all, What Lies Behind is proof of a very good performance, great sound – I like it! Dirty Sound Magnet do have a lot of potential still, and I am already looking forward to enjoy some of their upcoming work.

Record Rating: 7/10 | Label: Phénix Records | Web: Official Site
Release date: 2012

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