In many ways, Dirty on Purpose are the typical indie rock band. They boast the usual collection of atmospheric noise, acoustic instruments, and lazy-on-purpose vocal styles. It's all tied together with vintage artwork and indie label distribution.
It'd be easy to write this band off as nothing more than another run-of-the-mill indie rock band (and it'd make my job a lot easier), but Dirty on Purpose are more than what is seen and heard on the surface. A closer listen reveals the intricacies and nuances of a band that's willing to borrow from the best of the current and past while forging new paths and trying new things.
Dirty on Purpose's latest effort, the five song EP Like Bees, displays a band on top of their game, creating songs that show why rock music continues to thrive outside of the major-label, top forty distribution network. It has very little to do with market share or radio airplay, but everything to do with the music.
Like Bees starts off with the explosive "Audience," which begins with pounding drums and a distorted bass guitar that's reminiscent of British band Doves (who, stylistically, seems to be a strong influence, whether intentionally or not). On top of drummer Doug Martin's straightforward rock-and-roll beats, guitarist Joseph Jurewicz mixes acoustic rhythms with jangly layers of electric guitar and delay effects. It's a style that reveals what is to come in the next four songs, as Dirty on Purpose throws all of their multiple musical influences out there and ties it all together beautifully.
The rest of the album continues to swarm around you with swirling atmosphere and heavy bass. The title track "Like Bees" add female vocalist Jaymay to the mix, and the band comes in with a dreamy-pop style that draws you in. Jaymay sings: "angels swarm like bees at our command / all around us," revealing a band that takes poetic license and nuance to levels both musical and lyrical. "Back to Sleep" also adds Jaymay's vocals (along with Jurewicz ) on top of a simple drum beat and guitars that move in opposing directions. On a closer listen, "Back to Sleep" also adds some atmospheric synthesizers for a subtle edge. It's an engulfing start to a short but sweet EP.