The Dirty Heads: Cabin by the Sea

Dirty Heads, Cabin by the SeaThe Dirty Heads: Cabin by the Sea
The Dirty Heads are at it again, only a little more relaxed this time around. Cabin by the Sea, their follow up to 2008’s Any Port in a Storm, isn’t so much a continuation as an expansion on styles they had always shown. Certain elements that were frequently present in their debut album are lacking in Cabin by the Sea, but it isn’t necessarily a negative. While not completely absent, the rapping of Jared “Dirty J” Watson has been toned down in favor of a more mellow sound. The album is book-ended by the tracks “Arrival” and “Farewell” and what falls between can be viewed as a day at the beach, an escape into a world where nothing can go wrong.
The album begins with “Arrival,” a slow, acoustic track which clears the listener’s mind of all their worries, while setting the scene with the sound of waves crashing and seagulls calling. What follows is the title track which is one of the strongest the album has to offer. “Cabin by the Sea” flows like an island breeze with a catchy pop-infused chorus and memorable hooks. The album’s lead single “Spread Too Thin” is also incredibly memorable, steadily becoming a staple of summer rock radio, much like “Lay Me Down” had a couple of summers ago. For the ballad “Your Love,” the Dirty Heads enlist the help of Ky-Mani Marley (yes, Marley as in son of Reggae legend Bob Marley). He does not fail them, and he delivers a strong performance to an already strong track. The next track “Mongo Push” is not among the album’s best, but it is nice to see the band reunite with Rome of Sublime with Rome once more. Side one is rounded up by two more above average tracks, including the infectious “Dance All Night” featuring fellow alternative-reggae artist Matisyahu. Side two kicks off with a bang as the catchy tune “Notice” keeps listeners hooked. “Day by Day” is reminiscent of the Dirty Heads first album and shows that haven’t lost the touch that made Any Port in a Storm a great album. Both “Burn by Myself” and “We Will Rise” evoke images and feelings of sitting around a campfire by the ocean on a Summer night, featuring mainly acoustic guitars and bongos. These tracks show that music doesn’t have to be overly complex to be good. The album’s second side starts to wind down with the song “Love Letters.” While this song is not as memorable as the ones which precede it, it certainly fits the chronological order of a day at the beach, creating an environment of night time on the shore. The album concludes with “Farewell” a track similar to “Arrival” showing that the album has come full circle and that the day that has just ended is also the start of another day in paradise.
While some may find the Dirty Heads’ relaxed, acoustic sound to be too simple and overdone, it must also be noted that they are by far the best at what they do. Their influences (such as Sublime, Bob Marley, and even contemporaries such as Pepper) are noticeable throughout the album, and yet they still manage to create a unique sound that is a great success. The Dirty Heads just want to hang out and make music, and they have invited us all along for the ride.
Rating: 9.1/10
MP3: The Dirty Heads featuring Matisyahu “Dance All Night”
Buy: iTunes