By The Dirty Heads
Today, as you read this, a journalist somewhere is putting the finishing touches to an article about the latest catastrophe to befall us all during these difficult economic times. It wouldn't be a new day without a generous helping of doom and gloom. Maybe tomorrow it will be house prices falling even further? Or energy prices rising by 6000%? Or bankers raping kittens for fun? Honestly, if you paid enough attention to these stupid stories, you'd get so distressed about paying the winter heating bills that you'd end up selling your least favourite child to a man called Gary, who likes going to the park, and who used to play glam rock back in the 70s........
I, however, do not pay much attention to this stuff and am not currently considering how to commit suicide, and here's why: firstly, have you been into the centre of Leeds on a Saturday night recently? Not exactly what you'd call quiet, is it? Second of all, what about all of those horrid little fast food places that have taken over every town centre in the North of England, ever seen one of those go out of business? Neither have I. Clearly then we've still got enough money for burgers and deep fried chicken feet. Also, I don't and never have taken myself, or life for that matter, too seriously. It's hard to worry about unemployment figures when you're figuring out how loud your guitar amplifier will go before a man from the council turns up with some stern words, and the ever-rising prices at the pumps will swiftly become an irrelevant issue when you're sat in front of the TV, with some beer, watching Homer Simpson fall off the edge of a cliff on a skateboard.
I really do think that if everyone adopted this attitude and philosophy, then we would be well
on our way back to prosperity. And this, finally, brings me onto the Dirty Heads, and their new album 'Cabin by the Sea'.
This acoustic hip-hop/reggae record is an antidote to all that is pointless and boring in everyday life. If it were a person, you could imagine it blowing cannabis smoke into the face of a health and safety executive, breaking wind in a business meeting, spiking the drink of the designated driver and decorating the walls of churches with cartoon penises. It's a truly joyous and uplifting creation.
The limp-wristed guitar strumming, the sounds of the waves, the high pitched percussion and the positive vibes throughout 'Cabin by the Sea' paint a wonderful picture of just that: a cabin by the sea, with your friends, in the sun, drinking, dancing, partying - you just want to be there. I love how this atmosphere has been created; the music gives the listener time to breathe and take it all in.
Like almost all modern albums, 'Cabin by the Sea' has lots of rapping on it. Usually the rappers who appear on everything nowadays for some reason are not the smartest or friendliest chaps around and often have names like 'MC Crack Dealer' and 'MC I'm Gonna Murder Your Family and Make you Watch, Bitch'. Thankfully however, The Dirty Heads have done things a little differently. Their rappers have brilliant names like 'Del the Funky Homosapien', and as far as I can recall the topic of ho slapping is never brought up even once on this record.
Coming across an album that is top quality for beginning to end is a rare occurrence, 'Cabin by the Sea' is definitely one of those records; it has five or six possible hit singles, diversity, individuality and that special something, the thing that no one can quite put their finger on that separates the best bands from those who are just, kind of, alright.
One of the many positives I will take away from this record is a passage of lyrics from the title track that read 'You bring the weed, we'll bring the whiskey and the wine/ And we can pass it around until it's all gone/ We'll put a message in the bottle, put the cork back on/ We'll throw it in the sea, and the message will read: If you find this don't send help, sent another bottle please'. Wow. I love that. It's definitely going on my list of favourite lyrics along with 'Control the chaos from behind the gun' (Green Day), 'I look at the sun and I look in the mirror/ I'm on the right track, I'm onto a winner' (Lily Allen), and 'Take off your blouse and your underpants' (Tenacious D) amongst others.
In an age in which so much emphasis is placed upon finance and economics, the happiness of individuals is too often overlooked. It's nice to have millions in the bank and a Lamborghini parked in the driveway, but none of that really matters if you don't have a smile on your face. For me, this is what 'Cabin by the Sea' is all about; put simply: It makes you happy.