The internet tells me that rock outfit Dirty Lungs is from Birmingham, AL and they released an album in 2014. You would never actually know that from actually listening to their debut, self-titled release, though. In fact, it would be hard to find a time and place where the group does seem appropriate. This is partly because of how utterly weird Dirty Lungs is. And with song titles like “All My Cats” and “Space, Man,” it’s no surprise that things get just a little eclectic and plenty far out.
Not content in any truly defined sound, the Lungs are never happier than when they are jumping between styles, even mid-song. The aforementioned “All My Cats” starts with a vintage, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young folk feel before transitioning to distorted guitars and splashy hi-hat then finishing with a truly prog-inspired jam. “Dead in a Graveyard” evokes a tamer Iggy and the Stooges while the plucky guitar cycles of “Woman” reek of early rock and roll. There is rarely a track that passes without some prodigious guitar shredding and the hypnotic solos are a prominent strength of Dirty Lungs.
Things get weird lyrically as well. “And that’s why I’m feeling blue/because the cats were in the other room” makes sense in the context of a song called “All My Cats.” Now if only a song called “All My Cats” made sense in the context of a band that is often shredding your face. “I don’t want to be a woman,” the singer confesses on “Woman,” his fear being quelled before he even gets to the line, “because I know I’m a man.”
With all the lyrics about San Francisco from “Don’t Fucking Remind Me” and the heavy influence of vintage rock throughout their freshman album, Birmingham is the last place you would pin the hometown of Dirty Lungs. But if conventional musical styles can’t hold these guys in, why should we think a map could?