If there is one band to take a chance on and spend your hard earned cash on it is highly recommended that band be Dirty Sweet believe me you will not be disappointed, especially if you like 70’s blues based rock. Taking their name from the lyrics of the T Rex classic “Get It On (Bang A Gong)” these California guys eat, breathe, and sleep the 70’s and definitely did their homework when learning how to play kick ass rock-n-roll. Taking the best of what was offered by such legends as Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers, and Bad Company just to name a few, Dirty Sweet wastes no time in getting the proverbial ass kicking started with “Baby Come Home” right out of the gate. It has a great groove that just dares you to try and listen without tapping your feet, or doing the old head nod.
“Deliah” is up next with a swampy bluesy feel once again with a great groove, some excellent slide guitar work and one thing that is missing from a lot of the releases today, vocal harmonies but with four of the five members supplying vocals it should be no surprise the harmonies are as tight as they are. Ryan Koontz sounds like a cross between Kelly Holland (Cry of Love) and Shane (Law and Order) with great range and emotion in his voice. The band as a whole, guitarists Nathan Beale, Mark Murino, bassist/keyboard Shaun Cornell, and drummer Chris Mendez-Vanacore, are all excellent musicians and play great together.
“Come Again“, “Goldensole“, and “Born To Bleed” all offer more great grooves and sing along choruses. “Born To Bleed” along with “Baby Come Home” are my two favorite tracks on the album. If there is a song that could be considered an epic it is the fourth track “Long Line Down” with its haunting lyrics and keyboards then half way through it becomes a full throttle rock song with some great playing especially from the rhythm section of Cornell and Vanacore before settling back down to finish the song out.
“Sixteen” is another full out burner that completely oozes the 70’s. Once again with a great groove, vocal harmonies, and solo. If there was one surprise on “Monarchs & Beggars” it has to be “Isabel”. It could easily be found on an alternative country station as any rock station.
All in all “Of Monarchs & Beggars” is a great album through and through, with great songs, and great playing. If you take the chance you will not be disappointed in the least bit.
Dirty Sweet is:
Ryan Koontz – Vocals
Nathan Beale – Guitars
Mark Murino – Guitars
Shaun Cornell – Bass/ Keyboards
Chris Mendez-Vanacore – Drums