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  • ruby crowhurst


Great Expectations is the latest album from Brighton-based rock band Dirt Royal.

You can tell straight away from your first listen that Dirt Royal are a seasoned band and who are by no means brand new to the scene. This feeling comes from the fact that the lyrics and melodies throughout Great Expectations seem wise beyond their years.

Great Expectations is a masterclass in a band committing to their sound but still making sure each track is individual and doesn’t give you that ‘I’ve just listened to the same song five times in a row’ feeling which happens all too often. And, to make matters even better, the sound that the band has committed to is great as it's the type of sound that’ll be familiar with many British rock fans but still stands out from the crowd.

The energy I get from Great Expectations generally is that Dirt Royal are the type of band you can imagine performing in a pub that’s packed to the brim on a Friday night, which suddenly after the year we've had becomes a very nostalgic memory.

'As Good As It Gets' stands out as a personal favourite track, along with 'Never So'.

'As Good As It Gets' opens up the albums with the chorus which features the phrase 'that's just the way it is / that's just the way it is / nothing we can do, nothing we can do about it' which gives a pretty good summary of the direction of the album. The song is fun with a hint of cynicism and maybe a little bit of bitterness, but it's all in good faith.

'Never So', however, gets a little bit deeper and honest. It's a little slower and less heavy than the rest of the tracks, but that could be what's so special about it. Just simple instrumentals with personal lyrics looking inwards on their own emotions and past friendships and relationships.

Most importantly, throughout the album as a whole, you can tell Dirty Royal are a band that's having fun with music and looking back on past experiences and mistakes, whilst also being very comfortable in their defined sound.

Overall Dirt Royal’s Great Expectations is raucous fun mixed with some serious self-reflection that doesn't let you get bored easily. If you’re into that sort of thing, then I’d give it a listen.


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