Review: The Dirty Aces – From The Basement

Posted on: Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015


The Dirty Aces – From The Basement

(V2 Records Benelux)

Here’s a real blast . . . the new offering from The Dirty Aces – fronted by the vocals and blazing harmonica of Giles Robson, who originally hails from Jersey. The sound has changed a little over the last couple of years – still very bluesy, but now incorporating definite punk and garage rock flavours, as well as plenty of vintage r&b – think Dr Feelgood meet The Black Strypes meet The Strypes and with some 70s edges and you’re not a million miles away.

The 12 songs on “From The Basement” are predominantly high-energy and as well as featuring the afore-mentioned Giles Robson, the band feature guitarist Filip Kozlowski, and the tight rhythm section of Ian Jennings (bass) and Mike Hellier (drums). Together they deliver a most engaging  r&b sound, which must be absolutely terrific in the live arena – where the current rhythm section is Tommy Hull (bass) and Simon Small (drums).

Jennings’ throbbing bass line kicks off the opening “Sinnin’ ‘Gainst Me”, and is quickly joined by Hellier’s rapid-fire drums and the contributions of Robson and Kozlowski, who’s guitar work is excellent throughout . . . I was reminded of the Aussie stalwarts The Saints here, via Canvey Island; the pace is taken down on “Anna Marie”, with some quite outstanding harmonica from Giles Robson on this blues strutter. The 2:52 of “Ain’t No Forgettin'” is another trip to the heyday of British r&b and is without doubt a highlight, amongst many, here.

“Upstairs” is another tune, with a measured feel and pace, with lots more sterling work from the rhythm section of Jennings and Hellier, and the sparring harmonica and guitar of Messrs Robson and Kozlowski; the ‘runaway train’ that is “My Angels Might Die” fairly charges out of the starting blocks – another high-energy slab of frenetic r&b that again must be a ‘killer’ live.

“From The Basement” ends in fine style, with the tale of flying down to Mexico, in the lovely “Silver Bird To Mexico” – with again Giles Robson demonstrating why he is up amongst our finest harmonica players and singers, and with super solo from Filip Kozlowski – it’s a great end to a most highly recommended album!


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