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Album Review – “Only Have Eyes for New” by Dirty Looks

Album Review – “Only Have Eyes for New” by Dirty Looks


It’s sultry, it’s sweet, it’s got eyeshadow, and it could use a little spotlight. The Dirty Looks’ debut album Only Have Eyes for New contains an interesting mix of diverse influences. At times channeling guitar lines of The Strokes, vocal bursts of Jenny Lewis, Karen O, TLC, or sometimes all of the above, the band somehow is able to maintain an air of originality, and this comes down to the way the parts unite.

The vocals of frontwoman Kate Neal are tempered by those of Erin Marshall, and at the same time have interplay with the hook-laden riffs of Matt Radich. Neal’s vocals will bounce in tempo, occasionally reverting to her hip-hop background, like on their first single, “Pop Pop” as well as “Waiting All Night.” Neal drops clever and optimistic lyrics that could hearken to some of the more playful Yo! MTV Raps days. On the majority of the tracks, Neal sings. While the combined vocals can land a bit flat at times and occasionally squeak, the duo of Neal and Marshall largely works.

Only Have Eyes starts to really take stride about halfway through with the catchy tune “Sneaker Wave,” maybe the most solid track of the bunch. Immediately proceeding is “Up On Me,” which explores the bluesier side of Dirty Looks before returning to the poppier “Everybody Knows” and exploratory “70’s Love Song.”

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While there are a handful of successes and failures on the album, it’s obviously a manifestation of the band exploring its sound and the finding of itself. In this regard, the band has achieved what it sought to do, and as the product continues to be polished, it will continue to gain worth. »

– Richard Lime