It is rare for any artist or band to appear twice in this occasional weekend series but the more I listen to Dirty Slippers the more impressed I am.
When they were last here, in April, their first song in English, ‘Honest Kid’, written during pandemic lockdowns, was a nostalgic look back on youth from a more mature perspective and which I classified as “indeterminate indie pop/rock with hints of the 1960s and of 1990s Brit Pop.”
They have been recording their album by way of frequent visits to Abbey Road Studios in London and vocalist/guitarist Lázár Lobo-Szaloky has referred to how their sound has become more “monumental”, thanks to Abbey Road and to producer George Shilling (who’s worked with Oasis and Mike Oldfield) and who produced ‘Honest Kid’.
The producer this time out is Tim Palmer, whose credits include U2 and Bon Jovi.
There’s a shed load of experience there between them and it shows through straight away on the new single.
If I had one criticism of ‘Honest Kid’ it would be that they took too long to get into the meat of the song with a 20-second guitar intro that could have been lifted from The Hollies’ songbook. You don’t need me to tell you how short the average attention span is these days.
Are you still there?
That doesn’t apply this time around.
‘Wide Open’ lives up to its title straight out of the blocks with an almighty hi-hat/snare drum assault by Ferenczi Bebi who belts her kit with all the resolve of John Bonham. It’s still a long intro, but it’s far more meaningful and attention-grabbing.
Once it gets into gear I have to say there is a distinct flavour of Oasis about it and Lázár’s vocal has gained an appreciable quota of Gallagher-like attitude here. There’s a solid, memorable tune throughout and especially in the chorus, a psychy bridge, and the guitar contribution varies between what ‘our kid’ might write and experimental fuzziness.
If I didn’t know this was a Hungarian band that previously only wrote in their language I’d guess it was a 1990s Brit Pop band that had somehow slipped under the radar. A Magyar Shed Seven perhaps that was undergoing a revival.
My only concerns this time around are that little Joe Biden whisper “in time” that Lázár does on the very last note. Come on, man.
Also, more seriously, that the endings of both ‘Wide Open’ and ‘Honest Kid’ do bear a similarity.
That apart, I remain convinced they are on track to make a big breakthrough internationally, in the UK and perhaps even Stateside.
If you are in the UK you might be able to check them out at two forthcoming gigs in Southampton (4th September) and London (5th September). Hopefully their next dates will be nationwide.
The album should be out at the end of this year or in the first months of 2024.
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