With a band name like Dirty Power you’re well within your rights to expect some filthy, heavy, hard rocking goodness, and the Dublin-based trio well and truly deliver on those expectations.
The band was formed by Irish / Belgian frontman Brendan De Belder (vocals, guitars and songwriting), who brought together a group of London-based friends from all across Europe in around 2015. Brendan is the one constant in a band that has had revolving drummers and bassists from the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Scotland, Austria, Poland, Germany and England.
As Brendan explains: “We all were working musicians, playing everything from funk to metal to blues, around London at the time. I decided to stick to the music that made me pick up instruments to begin with, so I booked a gig, wrote some songs and circulated demos. The trio that played that night became Dirty Power. Years of touring, recording and Guinness followed.”
The current band is completed by bassist Marek Beko and Jerry Sadowsk, who join Brendan in offering up catchy songs laced with heavy grooves, down to earth lyrics and celestial solos.
They sent us latest track Back To One, which finalises the Notions EP. The track immediately sucks you in with an absolutely filthy opening riff that continues as a chunky bass and drums then crashing cymbals join in. A lingering bass note supports the opening vocals, which feed into a big singalong chorus “How long, How long before we’re back to one, How long?”
A heavier second verse kicks into another chorus, which ends on a big cry of “how long?” and drops into a fun section of chugging guitars and rolling drums. That develops with crashing cymbals and builds into several more repeats of the chorus, before the big chugging riff brings it to a heavy ending. Check it out below:
On the track, Brendan told us: “Back To One is a 7-string-guitar, groove-riff song, built on what has had the biggest impact on us at big rock festivals. Take Rage Against The Machine’s cover of Maggie’s Farm and combine it with the tonality of Foo Fighters’ In Your Honor and you’ll have a good idea of the sound. The reason for going that way with it, was that lyrically and thematically it’s about facing a struggle that’s been going on for so long, to the point where it runs deep in our instincts. It’s also just a catchy, heavy rock song, with a good chorus and a big breakdown riff. Live, it’s an absolute belter to play.”
The Notions EP first began to take shape with the release of The End in September 2018. Moody verses of vocals supported by light drums and chugging bassline explode into life in huge screamalong choruses and heavy guitars. Give it a listen here:
That was followed by further singles Could You Be? and iDenial which, as the name suggests, is about the downside of modern technology and I find realluy interesting. It opens up with the lines “Send it straight into the brain, justified by dopamine, it’s doing fine we can’t complain, now throw it all away,” which gives a nod to conspiracy theorists who believe technology will/already does hook straight into our brains to deliver doses of pleasure chemicals.
It’s also filled with hidden or double meanings. For example, it starts out with a snare drum that signifies “the mass-market factory complex we’re stuck in, and the rallying of a resistance to that.” The constant rhythm of the guitar riff drops out in a quiet bridge and solo, which offers “peace of mind for having broken through all the noise, only to reclaim everything again and to scream our way out the end of it.” While the repeats of “iDenial” has a double meaning of “I deny all,” which means “I actively reject the whole lot. All of it. A big, fat “no” to the whole thing.” Then there’s the conclusion with repeats of “iDenial, I deny,” which offers a nod to Kurt Cobain’s repeats of “a denial” at the end of Smells Like Teen Spirit. Check it out here:
On the EP as a whole, Brendan tells us: “The energy is up and the grooves are deep. There’s a progression in the sound and delivery across those songs, and it’s a glimpse of more to come.”
Dirty Power’s sound has been largely inspire by Nirvana and Rage Against The Machine, as well as the obvious influences of Foo Fighters, Audioslave, Rammstein, Satriani, Dream Theater and Muse. However, they also take inspiration from the likes of Queen, AC DC, Daft Punk, Bach, Mozart, Christy Moore, Rodrigo y Gabriela, The Beatles, Green Day, NoFX, Bad Religion, The Dubliners, The Pogues, Tenacious D and DVDA.
On what inspires them to write music, Brendan says: “Music has been such a big part of our lives, so we make music for all the reasons you’d to listen to music, plus wanting to add something worthwhile to the mix by getting our hands dirty with it. There are loads of themes, but redemption is a recurring one. You can take that religiously or not, it doesn’t matter.
“Rock has a cathartic, redemptive grit to it. So we’re inspired by the moments that music has given us. Especially the moments we’ve experienced live at countless rock festivals.”
The singles released through 2020 will be celebrated with gigs and tours when it’s safe and a good idea to do so. And Brendan is well into writing the next EP, so expect more recording and videos to come soon.
And, you may notice that the band’s music isn’t available on your favourite streaming channel, which is because they like to keep things DIY and maintain a connection with their fans. As Brendan explains: “We’ve kept everything pretty old school and independent, by touring anywhere we could, recording with analogue gear, together as a band and with minimal use of laptops… There’s a punk DIY ethic behind Dirty Power that shapes everything we do.”