June 15, 2006


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Dirty On Purpose, Hallelujah Sirens
North Street Records, 2006

It doesn’t require much Googling to expose Dirty on Purpose as a cog in New York’s grade-school-like blog/Pitchfork-powered alt scene, nor what the Bowery Ballroom chatties think of them, so wary consumers can dig that info up if they think it’s useful (it isn’t). The band lost keyboardist/off-key-singer Erika Forster to Au Revoir Simone prior to making this album, so for lack of a space cadet front chick, guitarist Joe Jurewicz made one up, lending his own self-admitted “7-year-old girl voice” to these doings. This heartwarming display of self-sacrifice enabled Dirty to adhere to their original specs, which call for a mixture of My Morning Jacket, Swirlies and of course Belle & Sebastian (reviewers rubber-stamping the band as Yo La Tango’s Mini-Me should hang up their keyboards). The short take is that “Hallelujah” is an engaging twee-on-steroids record that doesn’t strive for Belle’s all-star songwriting but rather fixates on invasive riffs that occasionally post-punk it up (“No Radio”) or space-rock it down in the tradition of Interpol (“Kill Our City”). B-

— Eric W. Saeger.

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