Dirty Larry - Inception
Release Date: 2004
Record Label: Unsigned
Before I go ranting and raving into details, let's get one thing straight: get any idea you may have in your head about Dirty Larry being just another ska-punk band out of there immediately. Inception is almost overwhelmingly packed with catchy ska-punk tunes, crisp guitar solos, skull-crushing metal influences, all bound tightly together to produce one of the best independent ska-punk albums to date. Before you know it, New Jersey's ska scene won't be known just for the likes of Streetlight Manifesto and Catch 22, because the six members of Dirty Larry are ready for the takeover.
Inception begins with "Butterfly Wings", which in my mind stands out as not only one of the albums most promising tracks, but additionally what proves to be the perfect way to kick this sucker off. It's almost as if it's got sort of an anthemic vibe to it. You know, the type of song you'll hear kids singing themselves hoarse to. The next beauty Inception has to offer, although all the songs are more than appealing, is the records fourth track, "Showtunes". If there was a single from this record, this should be it. Complete with a chorus containing lyrics so true it hurts, and stunning work from the bands horn section, you'd be making a mistake by skipping this one over. "Where is Hurfville?" is the story of an old man who sits on a hill from a town, coincidentally called Hurfville. Who knew a story about something so simple would lead to the creation of one of the most enjoyable songs i've ever listened to? Either way, it was a pleasing listen. "Response" picks up the pace as we're blasted into yet another exciting, crunchy ska-punk tune. For the first time in my life, I can whole-heartedly say that screaming doesn't sound out of place and unnecessary. "Dear Ashlee", on the other hand, begins remiscent of high school dances, the ones where you'd grab your guy or gal and pretend you know how to slow dance, before a smooth transition into more of what we've learned Dirty Larry are more than capable of offering. "Til Death Do Us Part" is something every ska fan can enjoy, starting out as a simple, yet relaxing ska song with a perfect old-school vibe, from which the Dirty Larry gang crush us with a powerful, edgy sing-a-long. Every style this band can pull off, and effortlessly at that, is combined into this single track; fast, slow, hard, soft, it's all here. Just as "Butterly Wings" set things on course, "Superhero" brings Inception perfectly to a close, with an almost dramatic vibe to it.
Overall, it's safe to say these guys are headed in the right direction. Much alike nearly every album in print, Inception it has its ups and downs, but Dirtly Larry do a damn near perfect job of outweighing anything you may not enjoy on this record, with songs you're not soon to get out of your head. One things for sure: I found myself coming back to these songs again and again, proving the lasting appeal is concrete. Boys and girls, Dirty Larry are here to stay.