The evolving brain-child of Barry Blackler and Nick Sampson, DIRT finally re-emerge from their respective periods of lockdown to release two new tracks ‘BETTER THINK TWICE’ and ‘A HORSE WITH NO NAME’. Purveyors of that elusive thing called rock ‘n’ roll, DIRT is a synthesis of their influences, long past, and newly found. Songs about life, dying, trying, grieving, being happy and drinking.
Building on their first single ‘Dreams & Happiness’, this release shows two more sides of DIRT, from their forthcoming album BLOOM. A celebration of the long-lost Double A-Side, both tracks continue to reveal the multi-faceted aspects to this duo, who up until a year ago were a trio with deeply missed third DIRT member, Malcolm Black.
‘Better Think Twice’ features Malcolm’s soulful vocal take on Barry’s lyric about how one person’s words or actions can adversely impact on other people’s lives, and perhaps you had ‘Better Think Twice’ before you do it. The song gradually builds momentum as it traverses an ingrained musical timeline – with Spectorish harmonies and tambourine-laced bass drum firmly planted in the ‘60’s, a quick nod to 90’s Manchester keys, and a suitably atmospherically sonic lead guitar taking it into the sound of DIRT 2020.
The flip side features an unexpected take on the classic America song ‘A Horse With No Name’. An inspired tribute in remembrance of Malcolm, it was the first song Black and Blackler played live as teenagers.
A once dreary but now beloved performance memory, the inclusion of this rendition of ‘A Horse With No Name’ harks back to the two playing Dunedin’s Fairfield Tavern, for the glamourous ‘All You Can Eat’ Sunday afternoon smorgasbord. While a long way off their teenage musical aspirations, the song ultimately had a lasting impact on both. In later years they did travel the desert together – in Mustangs – to Barry’s Las Vegas drive-through wedding. While Malcolm may not have not heard Nick’s final vocal or the finished version, his presence was felt throughout the entire recording journey. No doubt he would have approved of this fittingly DIRTied-up tribute to their past.
A Facebook taster of both vids put up last Friday night has ticked over 8K and 3K views respectively. BLOOM the album is due for release early September. Everyone needs a little DIRT.
DIRT – Barry Blackler, Nick Sampson, Malcolm Black
Keyboards on ‘Better Think Twice’ by Stephen Gallagher
Co-produced and engineered by Jacob Rush