Review: The Dirty Heads – Cabin By The Sea

Review: The Dirty Heads – Cabin By The Sea

The Dirty Heads – Cabin By The Sea
Track Listing:
1.) Arrival
2.) Cabin By the Sea
3.) Disguise
4.) Spread Too Thin
5.) Your Love (Feat. Ky-Mani Marley)
6.) Mongo Push (Feat. Rome Ramirez)
7.) Dance All Night (Feat. Matisyahu)
8.) Hipster
9.) Notice
10.) Day By Day
11.) Smoke Rings (Feat. Del The Funky Homosapien)
12.) Burn By Myself
13.) We Will Rise
14.) Best of Us
15.) Love Letters
16.) Farewell

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: June 19th, 2012
Record Label: Five Seven Music
Official Website: The Dirty Heads Website

Group Background:
Sprouting out of Surf City, USA in Huntington Beach, California in 1996, the Dirty Heads have been on a mission to spread their unique feel good inspiration through the art of music since day one. The Dirty Heads sound has been shaped on the foundation of reggae, mixed with hip-hop, dancehall, acoustic rock and a hint of punk rock, combining the brighter side of music from all spectrums in Southern California. As the band began to gain a reputation from the masses with radio hits “Lay Me Down” (which spent eleven weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Alternative Chart, a record for an independent release and more than any single that year by any other band), “Stand Tall” a song featured in Sony Pictures film Surfs Up, among many others.

While the Dirty Heads have been “trimming the fat”, as they have said and refining their sound from the Dirty Demo days and their major label debut Any Port In A Storm, the anticipation for their follow up release Cabin By The Sea hit every platform imaginable, with major radio premieres months in advance, along with a partnership with Rolling Stone, YouTube, Vizio and television appearances across the country, including an appearance on Live From Darryl’s House with Darryl Hall from Hall and Oats fame. The brimming excitement for the release is now over. Fans have docked at the Dirty Heads Cabin By The Sea to indulge in their timeless music once again.

Album Review:
As the listener presses play on Cabin By The Sea, there is no need to futz with the tracks, unless one wants to press replay. From the opening track, “Arrival”, a melodic greeting to all the Dirty Heads fans and a proper introduction to new listeners, the voyage is clear for the entirety of the sixteen track album. With seagulls and waves crashing in the background, it is the little aspects that often get overlooked, often defining the true beauty and masterpiece of a superb album. One track rolls into the next with an unparalleled style in today’s fast paced, instant gratification of the music industry.

In popular culture, the strive for radio hit singles are inevitable, but when a true, complete, all-encompassing album starts rolling, it is something to truly cherish, not for the first day or week, but remains a favorite for years to come. Cabin By The Sea is an album that displays the Dirty Heads eclectic style, meshing their soulful acoustic vibe with their hip-hop rhymes over reggae rhythms, as well as an A-List cast of performers to add another layer to an album that already felt complete.

After collaborating with their friend Rome Ramirez on “Lay Me Down”, the tandem reunited for round two on “Mongo Push” that has a driving force from the start, melding a backing track that wouldn’t feel out of place in the Studio 54 days. Even Matisyahu graced the album on “Dance All Night”, that will surely get the listener’s feet moving in the proper direction. In a more minor role, Micah Brown is also featured on the release providing vocal harmonies on much of the album; that was mainly recorded at 17th Street Studios with Lew Richards, while also working in production with Mario C of Beastie Boys at the Sonic Ranch studio in Texas.

But, one of the highlights had to be Ky-Mani Marley appearing on “Your Love”, a fitting ode to the great Bob Marley, as the song unfolds with “your love gets me so high, like when we are listening to Bob Marley, and you can feel it in the melody…” As Ky-Mani states in the song, “You said, it’s close to perfection…” He’s right, this album is as close to perfection that any band has come in the reggae-rock community, in a long time.

One aspect of reggae-rock music is the combining of many genres and styles with the gentle upstrokes and rugged beats that the Dirty Heads have held firm since day one. Even the fans from the early days received their wish with Jared Watson and Dustin Bushnell rapping on “Hipster”, “Smoke Rings”, a song that features rapper Del The Funky Homosapien, and to a lesser degree, but the rhymes are still prevalent on “We Will Rise”. The comedic lyrics are still a major part of the Dirty Heads sound that can be heard loud and clear throughout “Best Of Us”.

Yet to decipher an early favorite track from this album is a difficult task, which leaves plenty of credit to the full masterpiece that is Cabin By The Sea, but when “Day By Day” starts running, with an abundance of positivity throughout the lyrics, accompanied by uplifting keys and organ play in the background, it is impossible not to smile and bounce your head with the beat.

The same could be said about “Love Letters”, which features a ukulele from start to finish. And to think, “Spread Too Thin”, the first single off the album, has received the most air-play thus far. With this album, each track could be picked up by radio stations across the country, with unending rotation for years to come, including the album’s title track, “Cabin By The Sea”. It is safe to say, the Dirty Heads have, once again, surpassed expectations and raised the standard and profile for reggae-rock music on a worldwide scale.

Written & Reviewed By: Kris Siuta

[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]

Video: The Dirty Heads – “Spread Too Thin”