Review: Dirty Heads – Sound of Change

Review: Dirty Heads – Sound of Change

Dirty Heads – Sound of Change
DirtyHeadsTrack Listing:
1.) Sound of Change
2.) My Sweet Summer
3.) Medusa (ft Ward 21)
4.) Burn Slow (ft Tech N9ne)
5.) Franco Eyed (ft B-Real of Cypress Hill)
6.) End of the World
7.) One Hand
8.) Radio
9.) Burials
10.) Hear You Coming
11.) Silence
12.) Dark Days (Digital Bonus Track)
13.) Running For Your Life (Digital Bonus Track)

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: July 8th, 2014
Record Label: Five Seven Music
Official Website: Dirty Heads Website

Artist/Group Background:
Formed in 2003 out of Huntington Beach, CA, The Dirty Heads combine an intriguing mix of hip-hop, reggae and alternative rock with a sunny California swagger. The band released their debut album, Any Port In A Storm in September of 2008, which features the hit track “Lay Me Down,” a song that spent eleven weeks at #1 on the Billboard alternative chart, more than any single that year by any other artist. The band followed with their sophomore effort Cabin By The Sea in June of 2012, which saw three hit singles “Spread Too Thin,” “Dance All Night,” as well as the album’s title track “Cabin By The Sea”. The album featured a number of special guests including Matisyahu, KyMani Marley, and Del the Funky Homosapien. On October 29th, 2013, the band released an 11 track acoustic album titled Home/Phantoms of Summer: Acoustic Sessions. Now, in 2014, the band is promoting their Sound of Change, a 13 track album that shows the group taking a new journey on their musical odyssey as they work with new producers Rome Ramirez, Supa Dups, Niles & Buddah Shampoo.

Album Review:
Welcome to the musical evolution of the Dirty Heads! Sound of Change picks up where nothing has left off with the Dirty Heads music before. Sound of Change is what the album title indicates, displaying the lyrically progressive talent & depth shared by both vocalists, Jared Watson & Duddy B.

The overall sound of the album combines alternative rock with aggressive hip-hop met by trap-beats, poppy hooks & pockets of reggae up-skank rhythms. Well, the albums lone reggae song is “Radio”, sang mainly by Duddy B, while “My Sweet Summer” has elements of reggae, but plays more like a dance-track. Outside of “Radio”, this is a confident exploration into new musical realms, evolving their signature lyrical rap verses over programmed beats, capped off with poppy & melodic hooks.

The live instrumentation is very subtle, layered in & made to emphasize the programmed production approach of the album. As a result, the album is very lyrical & I doubt you’ll be asking for any guitar tabs off this release.

This album feels like a statement release for Jared Watson. Jared delivers heavy rap verses while also singing, hitting high notes over most of the albums choruses, as well as providing timely background harmonies & melodic hooks. Great examples of his diverse vocal approach would be on songs “Sound of Change”, “Burn Slow”, “My Sweet Summer” & “Hear You Coming” with Jared sounding almost unrecognizable over the chorus on the latter.

Yeah, the album is mainly programmed, a far cry from the acoustic guitars, percussion & live instrumentation that long time Dirty Heads fans have grown accustomed to. But the production quality is solid throughout the entire album & the verses for most of the songs are edgy, heavy with rap cuts that include hysterical punchlines, creative imagery & swagger.

“End of the World”, a long with “Medusa”, are the albums only 2 songs that found my skip list. “Medusa”, a hip-hop based track with symptoms of dance-hall, is full of great rap verses by Jared, Duddy & I dig the guest feature by Ward 21. The obnoxious chorus & constant repeating of “MEDUSA”, however, urges me to skip this song most times. “End of the World”, a more melodic alternative-rock approach, is a likable track, but feels like the same 60 seconds repeating itself for 4 minutes until it’s over.

The album features more guest appearances, including B-Real of Cypress Hill on the hip-hop jammer “Franco Eyed”, followed by another guest spot with Tech N9ne on “Burn Slow”, pairing an Alternative hook with slamming hip-hop verses. Both of these tracks are probably the albums top songs along with “Sound of Change”, “My Sweet Summer”, “Radio” and “Silence”.

I’m impressed with the direction Dirty Heads are taking with their music. It’s easy to stay at home within your comfort zone of re-creating the same recycled sounding songs, but Sound of Change proves to us that influential change is important to the sound if we’re to evolve as artists. Dirty Heads took one big evolving step forward with Sound of Change as they showcased a level of depth most of us may not be prepared for, which is why this album will only age better with time.

Written & Reviewed By: Mike Patti

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]

Watch: Dirty Heads – “My Sweet Summer”