According to the
band's MySpace page, The Dirty Royals are an Anglo-American
band, born in 2005 in California when the founding members
of The Samurai Seven decided to form a new band. Obsessed
America, their first release as The Dirty Royals,
finds them flirting with a bit of political imagery with
its cover depicting four Royal Guardsmen (the type you get
outside Buckingham Palace, 'Busby' and all) in front of the
stars and stripes.
The title track opens proceedings, and is undoubtedly the pick of the tracks here with a punky vocal style over some enthusiastic drumming and a chorus that doesn't quite go where you were expecting it to. "I didn't recognize her, I liked you more the way you were," yells singer Simon Williams ambiguously.
After that, however, it's all downhill for me unfortunately. CIA might slow down nicely to a more melodic middle section which features some nice harmonies, but ultimately it's just not memorable enough. The mid-paced There's A Riot Going On sounds like any other number of bands you could think of. And although I Feel Alive opens in lively fashion with a heavy tom-tom c/o drummer Keith Tenebaum and some Stones-like guitars, again the song just isn't strong enough. There's some neat guitar playing and harmonizing on it though. The EP ends with Like A Sucker, which opens with some Beach Boys-like harmonies before the guitars burst in, and well I think you know what I'm going to say. It's not strong enough. In fact, this track isn't very good at all with a weak chorus that's pitched somewhere between Green
Day and Hanson.
But ultimately I can't help feeling it's a shame their music doesn't invoke the same degree of danger as all those Obsessed America / CIA / Riot references might suggest. Surely it's a bit late in the day to play Stones riffs, tell us there's a riot going on and come on all rock'n'roll, maaan? Admittedly fans of bands like The Vines might find something to their fancy here, but really The Dirty Royals sound like they're playing safe while they're still finding their feet. And using "If You're Dirty, we love you!" as a motto, doesn't bode well if they want to appeal to anyone over the age of fifteen. Still, the lead track shows promise, so I won't write them off just yet.