The Dirtbombs Ultraglide In Black

Mick Collins has finally gotten around to recording and releasing his sonic love letter to his soul influences on this, the second Dirtbombs album. Comprised of all covers, except Collins' own "Your Love Belongs Under A Rock," Ultraglide... is the sound of '60s and '70s black rock and real R&B launched into the stratosphere by scorching fuzz-tone guitars. Amongst the Mount Rushmore of black music heroes saluted here are Stevie Wonder, with "Livin' For The City," Curtis Mayfield, with "Kung Fu," and Barry White, with "I'm Qualified To Satisfy You," which is without a doubt the album's highlight. On the more garage tip, we have the house-rocking, dance hit sensation of "The Thing" and the surprise selection of the political rocker "Ode To A Black Man," by Thin Lizzy. Not only does the wide spectrum of tracks here flow nicely, but this also has to be the best produced Dirtbombs record to date. Mick is consistently in good voice on every track, and Sheila Holmes' rich backing vocals help this all-star garage wrecking crew deliver these songs in a fashion that befits them. The Dirtbombs have always been a wildly inconsistent band, putting out everything from pure punk to noise to jokey nursery rhymes, but Ultraglide... shows the band at their most focused and tightest yet. Make no mistake though, this album still carries that trademark "loose yet confident" swagger that has characterised Collins' cool Gories and Blacktop projects in the past. Like the Detroit Cobras' records, this is a versatile album you could rock at the most debauched late night piss up or throw on when your parents come over. (In The Red)