Dirty Looks

Cool from the Wire Dirty Looks-Cool from the Wire (Atlantic) 1988

1. "Cool From the Wire" (3:34)
2. "It's No the Way You Rock" (3:49)
3. "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" (3:22)
4. "Oh Ruby" (4:07)
5. "Tokyo" (3:06)
6. "Wastin' My Time" (3:32)
7. "Put A Spell On You" (3:49)
8. "No Brains Child" (3:53)
9. "Get It Right" (4:17)
10."It's A Bitch" (4:26)
11."Get Off" (3:26)

I went to college in Rochester, NY where these guys ruled the scene. One of my roommates was from Pennsylvania (where D.L. originated) and already had a few independent releases from Dirty Looks. He hooked all of us up with copies of an awesome commercial metal album by Dirty Looks called "In Your Face." (I have yet to find another copy of that tape.) Fortunately some of the best songs from that album are on Dirty Looks first major label debut."Cool from the Wire" has a big fat production thanks to knob turner Max Norman. (who also produced the fabulous "Countdown to Extinction" by Megadeth.) "Oh Ruby" was the single from the album and had a very cool Bon Scott era AC/DC vibe. Actually every song on this disc has a big hook. Why these guys never reached the level of some of the hair bands of the late 80ís I will never know. They had it all; the looks, the hooks, the label backing, the right producer and far more talent than bands like Poison or Warrant that sold millions. Go figure!

Turn of the Screw Dirty Looks-Turn of the Screw (Atlantic) 1989

1. "Turn of the Screw (Who's Screwing You)" (3:53)
"Nobody Rides for Free" (307)
3. "C'mon Frenchie" (3:00)
4. "Take What Ya Get" (4:20)
5. "Hot Flash Jelly Roll" (3:12)
6. "Always A Loser" (3:12)
7. "L.A. Anna" (4:00)
8. Slammin' to a Big Beat" (3:30)
9. "Love Screams" (3:28)
10. "Go Away" (4:14)
11. "Have Some Balls" (3:15)

From what I have read, the band was fighting over the direction they should take after the success of "Cool from the Wire" but their record company was pressuring them for a new album. When "Turn of the Screw" was released, it did well initially but sales stopped quickly because the music just didn't have the hooks that "Cool from the Wire" had. There are a few exceptions like "Nobody Rides for Free," which was getting some airplay when it first came out.

Bootlegs Dirty Looks-Bootlegs (Roadrunner) 1991

1. "Speed Queen" (3:24)
2. "Dude, Where's The Money" (3:19)
3. "Fade Away" (3:20)
4. "In Black & White" (2:51)
5. "Loveless" (4:01)
6. "Only Tomorrow" (4:12)
7. "The Last Forever" (4:35)
8. "Fool For You" (3:21)
9. "Fang and the Love Pig" (2:31)

With the exception of "The Last Forever" and "Only Tomorrow" I don't think any of this material has been released on any of Dirty Look's other albums. "Bootlegs" is a compilation of material that was "written before and after 'Cool From the Wire' and 'Turn of the Screw'." As with those two albums, the material on this disc is excellent and surprisingly well recorded, considering that this disc was produced without the help of Max Norman. "Bootlegs" was released in 1991 and is now almost impossible to find. I rarely see this one on eBay or on anyone's trade lists. I even checked Shrapnel's page and this disc wasn't listed on it either. The few copies I have seen on eBay sell for an average of $15-$20. A good friend of mine picked up this one for me fairly cheap in Germany at a used store.

Five Easy Pieces Dirty Looks-Five Easy Pieces (Rockworld) 1992

1. "Blue Tequila" (3:41)
2. "Getting Over" (3:35)
3. "Only Tomorrow" (3:57)
4. "Liquid Crush" (3:17)
5. "Let It Rain" (3:27)
6. "Five Easy Pieces" (3:52)
7. "Gas House Sally" (3:28)
8. "Back to the Marseilles" (3:10)
9. "The Last Forever" (4:27)
10. "Hard in the Middle" (3:53)
11. "Give it Back (Thru Your Head)" (2:59)
12. "Violence in Blue" (4:04)
13. "Cardiac Arrest" (4:28)

I wonder had this been the follow up to "Cool from the Wire" if Dirty Looks would have continued to climb up the ladder of success rather than plummeting to the status as permanent bar band? Not that it really matters as far as the music is concerned because, despite the fact that Dirty Looks were not selling millions, the music continued to impress. "The Last Forever" should have been blasting from every FM station in the US as it is a great power ballad with a very hooky vocal melody and chorus. Of course in 1992 nobody was listening to this sleazy, AC/DC inspired pop metal anymore anyhow. Dirty Looks, like similar sleaze rockers KIX never really could catch a break. Favorite cuts are album opener "Blue Tequilla," the bluesy title track and "Violence in Blue" and album closer "Cardiac Arrest." The album's production is superb as Max Norman is once again hired to turn the knobs. Also of note is that David Krebbs, former Aersomith manager, is listed as Executive Producer which simply means he put up the money for the band to record. Too bad he didn't put more money into promotions as I didn't even hear about this release until it was relegated to the cut out bins. Found this one along with 'Chewing on the Bit" in the same cut out bin for $2.99 each. They both sell for much more on ebay now.

Chewing on the Bit Dirty Looks-Chewing on the Bit (Rockworld) 1994

1. "This Way" (4:02)
2. "Love Train" (3:46)
3. "Chewing on the Bit" (4:32)
4. "Falling Down" (4:54)
5. "You Can't Take It Back" (2:59)
6. "Trip the Light" (3:14)
7. "Dead, White & Blue" (3:13)
8. "Killing Time" (3:47)
9. "My Shallow Grave" (4:05)
10. "Last Cigarette" (3:18)
11. "Encore" (5:07)

1994 and Dirty Looks are still doing the sleaze metal thing despite the lack of interest from everyone. Could it be Dirty Looks are not just in it for the fame and fortune but actually have some integrity? Could I be they like the style of music they play as opposed to following the the trends? Once again, Max Norman is brought in to produce for Henrik Ostergaard and Co. (Henrik is the only remaining original member at this point.)

One Bad Leg Dirty Looks-One Bad Leg (Rockworld) 1994

1. "One Bad Leg" (3:40)
2. "Hello It's Me" (4:06)
3. "Point of View" (3:52)
4. "Loveless" (4:02)
5. "Lambís Breath" (4:49)
6. "YMI" (2:58)
7. "Anyway You Want It" (4:05)
8. "Raining in the Sun" (3:27)
9. "Oh Ruby" -live (5:11)
10. "Cool from the Wire" -live (5:10)

I'm not sure what's up here. "One Bad Leg" has a single page insert with no photos, no credits and no lyrics, and there are only eight new songs. Looks like lack of sales from past albums has caused lackluster label interest. This would be the last album Dirty Looks would release on Rockworld as they were dropped shortly after the release of "O.B.L." Anyhow, the music still sounds like the AC/DC boogie and blues metal that they have always done. Dirty Looks, despite their lack of popularity and label backing continues to stare the music industry in the face and give it the finger. I guess they know what they like and what they do best. The last two songs are supposed to be live versions of "Oh Ruby" and "Cool from the Wire." They may have been recorded live but the crowd seems like it has been added in the studio. I found this one in a hole-in-the-wall used cd store for $4. Haven't seen another copy since.

Rip It Out Dirty Looks-Rip It Out (Mirror) 1996

1. "Open Wide" (4:23)
2. "Something in You" (4:02)
3. "Rite of Way" (3:06)
4. "Eye to the Sky" (3:40)
5. "Therapeutic Drinking" (3:08)
6. "Too Much for Granted" (4:12)
7. "I Want More" (2:56)
8. "Half as Much" (3:59)

Now relegated to status as an indie band, Dirty Looks, despite trends and all odds, continues to persue the same type of sleazy metal they have been playing since the early 80's. Well, if there is one thing you can say for them, they stick to their guns. Henrik sounds so much like Bon Scott in "Something In You" that it's uncanny. I could have done without the "F*** You" chant in "I Want More." Otherwise a good, but very short, disc. Original guitarist Paul Lidel is back in the fold. This one sells for close to $20 on Ebay. Ouch!

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