Friday, 1 April 2016

The Dirty Coal Train - 'Super Scum'

Review for Heatwave Magazine
Label: Groovie Records - Released: March 2016

The Dirty Coal Train is brilliant and the new freakishly superb Super Scum is a goddamn fine exemplar of their fire.

The Dirty Coal Train is a Portuguese garage punk band, however, to simply call it that doesn’t feel quite right. They help us by defining their sound as raw lo-fi, or more specifically, “raw garage sounds from the underworld.” While the self-defined depiction helps, it doesn’t quite capture the sound. There is loads of blues, surf, 60’s garage, 70’s psych, post punk and a lot of passion and dedication coming out of the underworld’s garage. Indeed, the Dirty Coal Train is in a constant creative quest for new musical worlds. It is this relentless eagerness to explore further down the rabbit hole that ultimately makes great rock n rollers.


The heart of this band beats in two bodies at the same time with Ricardo Ramos, aka Reverend Jesse Coltrane, and his flame Beatriz Rodrigues, aka Conchita de Áragon Coltrane. Together, they are the brave conductors and their train crew has had some of the finest musicians around. This new album is no exception. Carlos Mendes, Pedro Calhau, Ana Banana Coltrane and Eduardo Vinhas aid the fresh new Super Scum.

The Dirty Coal Train formed just five years ago and already has an impressive and extensive discography. Its playground has been in Europe and South America so far, but other flights are waiting, no doubt. Both Rev Jesse and Conchita de Áragon are like tropical storms, their hot blood burning up, not in moves but in their captivating poise and impressive vocals. We can’t be but in awe of their riveting delivery and their stage presence lingers long after they’ve left the stage.

Super Scum – one single album, an immensity of feelings and sensations. Seriously, there’s so much in here I don’t even know where to start. To write a dissertation on every single song would be insane.

The Dirty Coal Train are explorers, all-around gypsies, mad scientists, alchemists. They dissect each and every inspiring universe until they create this mighty panoply of immersive psych-storytelling sound. These universes are filled with B-movies, UFOs and all kinds of monsters and creatures, which are no more than wonderfully well-built platforms for their masterly insightful concepts. The band sculpts their lyrics through well-thought human truths, strategically allusive to the crookedness of the world in which we live. The powerful vocals that are equally shared between Rev Jesse and Conchita de Áragon bring it all to a perfect rock n roll cosmos.

The A-side is feral throughout. We can feel rage, disdain and mockery all in a bowl of straight up clever irony. The rhythm is exhilarating. The ups and downs enhance our senses beautifully. It’s sexy, it’s brute and it’s always alluring.

The B-side is more playful with all its introductory references. In some songs the rhythm slows down a tiny bit, swirling ever so slightly with the drums delightfully sharp and the voices almost laidback. Almost… their raw power, however, is always there – strong, defiant and, at all times, resolute.

Super Scum is an exciting album, a most noble representation of these daredevils, musical risk-takers, conquerors of the old and the new, and explorers of the unknown. The Dirty Coal Train is a fearless band to follow as closely as we can, while it keeps on crisscrossing all possible borders of rock n roll in sheer madness.

Cheers, me hearties, and don’t forget to hug the music.
Penelope York


The Dirty Coal Train

Heatwave

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