First impressions are important, especially in an era of music dominated by TikTok and seas of unknown indie bands.
DISHPIT, a Montreal-based trio, makes a scorching, hilarious, honest and grimy impression with its debut album “DIPSHIT.” And, to be honest, you’d be a total dipshit not to listen to it.
There’s something that feels like a warm, nostalgia-drenched hug about DISHPIT’s music, while simultaneously feeling energetic and new. Perhaps that is because the trio’s debut was produced by the legendary — and usually curmudgeonly — Steve Albini (he produced for Nirvana, the Pixies and the Breeders, three bands whose thumbprints are all over this album).
Maybe it’s because singer and guitarist Nora Kelly manages to capture the raw scratch and energy of Kurt Cobain’s signature vocals without sounding like a copycat (cough cough, every band in the immediate post-Nirvana era).
Whatever it is that’s under the hood of this young band, it works. And over thirty minutes across 11 diverse, yet cohesive tracks, the motor never stops.
Kelly is one hell of a lyricist, with enough tongue-in-cheek wit to share. But it’s the little nuggets of honesty paired with humor that give her songwriting what is sure to become a signature flair.
“Plaza People,” the opener for “DIPSHIT,” features Kelly singing, “I never had to sell my plasma, I’m one of the lucky girls,” over a slightly distorted guitar and prominent bass and drums.
But then comes “1,000 Ways to Die,” where Kelly adopts a Joan-Jett-meets-Courtney-Love snarl, with guitar work plucked straight from White Stripes-era garage rock. The song is an energetic tour de force. It’ll make you want to grow your hair out long just so you can feel it wash over you as you headbang the night away.
But the album isn’t all power. There are moments of slowness, when the heaviness comes not from overly-distorted guitars, but from the usage of odd time signatures and — wait for it — vibes. “This Time” epitomizes these elements, with a minimalist guitar and swirling bass providing a dark platform for Kelly’s penmanship. “I just want to lay down in the snow, freeze off the things that only you and I know,” she sings, potentially of a love lost or broken relationship.
But then you get a pure punk rock gem like “Trash Queen,” with muddy, fast guitars and rapid fire lyrics. And we’re not talking that bullshit Blink-182 punk, this is pure L.A., Germs-era goodness.
Not all is perfect about this album, which is only fitting of a record divined from such grungy, filthy influences. Some songs are louder than others, which can take a toll on the ol’ ear holes, but it doesn’t hinder the charm of this grimy affair.
Perhaps the biggest outcast on the album is the closer, “Get Rich or Die.” Though not a ballad, it is an acoustic solo outing. Albini’s wizardry makes it feel like Kelly is right in front of you, singing of the tomfoolery of 40-hour work weeks and being okay with selling one’s life to poverty for back breaking work.
And though this track may seem to not fit at first, it really makes perfect sense in the grand scheme of the record. Kelly is a powerhouse songwriter, and the band can do whatever the hell it wants. And now that DISHPIT has introduced itself, it’s going to stick around for awhile.