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Review: Dirtbike, 'Thank You Sorry'

Biting power pop; frantic punk rock


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Thank You Sorry 

I was there when Dirtbike played their first show in a garage two years ago. I don't remember who else played, and even though the cops shut the proceedings down 3 songs into Dirtbike's set, I knew these guys were onto something special. Veterans John Zeps (Soulpaint, SERVICE) and Tony Beemer (Ancient Slang, Smokes) are the perfect backing muscle for former Vacation Club guitarist Jeb Lambert's wondrously bratty lyrics and vocals. Since that first show, this band has grown into one of the strongest, catchiest and multifaceted bands in Indianapolis.

Beemer, as always, is a monster behind the drum kit; Jeb's song craft and Zep's sex throb coax Tony into playing what is the best drumming of his career. John Zeps is a guitar player's player. He's at home playing hardcore, thrash, punk, pop on 4, 6 and 12 strings and his presence adds energy and constantly pushes Lambert into new stratospheres of rock badassery.

Thank You, Sorry is a concise, exhilarating recap of Dirtbike's early period, where soaring harmonies, biting power pop and frantic punk rock intertwine into a brilliant package. At the heart of Thank You, Sorry is a handful of messy break-up songs, You can feel the alienated pout of “Wannabe” and when Jeb sings “I gonna have to say goodbye to you, and give myself a good taking to.” in “10000 Pardons” you can instantly relate. The breathless, angsty snarl of “We are Rot” is offset by towering harmonies. “Creates Contempt” is just straight-up hatred, caused by close proximity to someone, distilled into a 2 minute blast of hair and spit.

There are no happy endings here. No redemptive lessons. No feel-good parables. Don't let the poppy sheen fool you; this is a dark album. Full of epic 2-minute tales of self-castration (“Get it of of Me”), a man with half a hand (“Scolioso”) and plain ol' existentialism (“Stare and Think”). Yeah, Thank You, Sorry is a downer of an album, but the power, life and confidence running through its musical veins is enough to keep you coming back for more — and assure you better days are ahead. 


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