Filthy Habits (Get Hip)
Reviewed by DJ Johnson
"Riding on a red-eye from this God forsaken town -
Had a good thing goin 'til my baby put me down -
I got filthy habits - you gave me your disease -
Tried to take my life away but I got myself free -
Now I'm gonna try my luck in some other city -
And I'm on my way"
Diana Young-Blanchard's voice burns these words from "Red Eye" into your memory. She sings them with an angry intensity you can't help but get caught up in; you want to get out of that town as much as she does. The ability to wrap the listener up in story lines, as if the songs were the ultimate reality show, is one of the things that sets Young-Blanchard apart from other rock and roll vocalists today. She sounds a lot like Janis Joplin might have sounded without the tendency to walk the plank and fall over the edge so often. She smoulders but never screeches; she knows where the edge is, and how far she can let her toes dangle before the situation falls out of her control.
How often have you heard incredible vocalists who are hampered by a run of the mill guitarist? Too often. Not a problem here, however. Ask yourself who the perfect guitarist to compliment that voice might be. Answer: Dave Crider, of Mono-Men and Estrus Records fame, who naturally radiates a guitar growl more than powerful enough to make for a fair fight with Young-Blanchard's most furious exclamations. The guitar-and-voice break in "Mystified" is exhibit A, with power enough to light a good sized town. His energy, matched volt for volt by bassist Scott Green and drummer Phil Carter, pushes Young-Blanchard to the next level, a musical marriage made in heaven. Even on the less slam-bang tracks, like the Memphis-flavored "Sweet Words," there's a gritty energy that can't be denied.
This CD, the band's third, is a sweat soaked celebration of power rock 'n' blues from start to finish, addictive as hell, exciting, and memorable. Definitely a Filthy Habit worth picking up.
© 2007 - DJ Johnson