Dirty Spoon - 35

5 songs
24:25 minutes
***** ****


The mid-Nineties showcased a style of music I was really fond of, but which was also one that never really got off the way it was supposed to: noisy guitar rock. One of the explanations might be that this genre mostly came from Continental Europe, which already made it hard to get the necessary acceptance that musicians from the USA and England seem to get really easily these days.

Dirty Spoon are one of these bands. They only released two albums: Shake Well in 1996 and Ballroom Tango in 1997, and then it became very quiet. Too bad, because they were one of the best bands of that genre. In 1998, they secretly recorded a last album that was never released until 2001. The year 2002 saw the end of Dirty Spoon. This way, 35 can be seen as a farewell album, and unfortunately a fairly short one, too.

35 was recorded by J.Kell who was responsible in the past for such masterworks from the likes of Sans Secours from Austria. That much said, you can already expect a killer sound on the five songs you can find on this album. The opener A Special Habit for instance is a typical Dirty Spoon song, with loud noisy guitars that seem to take no end with their hypnotic structures, plus very charismatic vocals. Less typical is Attempt Of The Century, with a more mellow feeling and some strange keyboard sounds that give you the shivers. It has to be noticed that Dirty Spoon experimented more with synthesized sounds on this album, which gave their music a richer texture. Interesting for collectors of cover versions is finally Walking In Your Footsteps, originally performed by The Police.

There used to be quite a wave of good noise bands in the mid- to late-Nineties, where Notwist and Sharon Stoned were the pioneers. A band like Dirty Spoon was never really beneath them, they just lacked the proper promotion with video clips on MTV (remember 120 Minutes?) and 4-page interviews in Spex magazine. Still, people who loved this music back then should get 35, and once you're done listening to this short half hour of music, you can put the CD into your computer and watch two live clips in ok quality, to see what they actually looked like. Goodbye Dirty Spoon, it was fun having you around.

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