Alibi V.15 No.30 • July 27-Aug 2, 2006 

Music Magnified

Dirty on Purpose

with The Build

Dirty on Purpose
Dirty on Purpose

Wednesday, Aug. 2, Launchpad (21-and-over): Straddling the line between an indie band with screwed-up time signatures and long periods of straight instrumentation and a rock band with a Yo-La-Tengo-without-the-bite style of play, Brooklynites Dirty on Purpose are poised at the verge of quasi-stardom and indie acclaim.

The band will soon be featured on a “You Hear It First” segment on MTV, which has launched bands like Fall Out Boy into instant fame and fortune. The road ahead of Dirty on Purpose is probably more treacherous than that of the aforementioned pop punkers because there’s a greater stigma attached to indie bands that “make it” than there is for pop punk outfits that do the same.

There are certainly examples of indie-to-major-label success stories (Built to Spill being a shining one) and judging from Dirty on Purpose’s latest release, Hallelujah Sirens, released on independent label North Street Records, the band has no intention of going soft anytime soon.

The vocals may be feathery and the melodies easily grasped, but there is something that still kicks in the teeth of the listener ready to swallow the band whole. Hallelujah’s “No Radio” features a Neutral Milk Hotel style horn arrangement that adds punch without much melodic assistance, giving an almost chaotic feel to the track. These and other abundant examples on the new album mean that if and when the band makes it to stardom, it will be on their own terms.