Jack Pout and the Dirt Level “Getting Off the Ground” new album.
A month or so ago Jack Pout and the Dirt Level launched their new album with a packed, exhuberant and sweaty gig in the Crypt at Take 5 in Norwich. Starting the album is the almost uncharacteristically funky Urban Schoolboy, an insanely catchy song which sounds like it was great fun to record, and it clearly seems to be fun for them to play live.
This is followed by Confetti, in a more familiar Dirt Level style before the slow and wistful Breaking of Old Branches, which backed only by his acoustic guitar and some chirping birds highlights Jack’s songwriting talents.
The tongue-in-cheek “Support Act” will be familiar to anyone who has seen them play live, with it’s wittily observational lyrics about getting up the bill on gig lists. In Vino Veritas is next and that is followed by “Pardon Me”, with its sparseness it has an incredibly 60s feel and again shows Jack’s good way with words in his lyrics.
The next song is one of my favourites on the album, the very uptempo “Perhaps I’m Sick” it does have quite an uplifting feel to it, and this is the first time I have heard it recorded with the backing vocals and harmonies, which adds tremendously to this track and again gives it a 60s feel.
Slowing the tempo back down is “Play Dead” and another album highlight. Beautifully produced and subtle. Rounding off the album are “Clockwork” and “Pack My Bags”. The birds in Mikey’s studio garden are audible again on Pack My Bags, and this is probably Jack’s most poignant and emotionally expressive piece of songwriting on the album, in my opinion.
To my ears, this album proves once and for all that the Dirt Level are a band who know how to play and how to have fun but also demonstrates their deeper side with Jack’s impressive songwriting and much subtlety and tenderness on these slower tracks. An extra mention to Mikey Shaw (Junior Ras) for an equally impressive job on production.
The debut album from Jack Pout and The Dirt Level, recorded with Mikey Shaw (A.K.A Junior Ras) with photography by Richard Shashamane and now here for your enjoyment!
These ten tracks of Folk/Rock happiness took only 3 days to record but around 5 months of planning, designing and crying to finally reach you. We’re really proud to have made this and it was so much fun to create, we really hope you enjoy it and we are, as ever, supremely grateful for you listening to our music.
Come and have a dance with us soon!
Jack Pout – Acoustic/electric guitar and vocals.
Robbie Kuhn – Vocals, percussion and drums.
Ben Asker – Vocals and Bass
Calum McKemmie – Banjo, mandolin and fiddle.
released 14 August 2013
Getting Off the Ground is available for £4 from http://jackpout.bandcamp.com/
words and photos © all rights reserved, richard shashamane 2013