Released: 2010, FNA REcords
For the next few months of the summer of 2010 I’m going to be bring you a series of six (or more) reviews of a great CD reissue campaign by a new, young label FNA Records. My rating reflects the score of the site's guidelines and the appeal to modern fans of heavier genres but if you are a fan of the band and the genre, I would rate this a full-point higher and give it a strong recommendation. Check out the other reviews in the series.
The first in our series of reviews is a reissue of an obscure gem by a band that deserves some attention and is still going strong, namely Dirty Looks. FNA recently reissued the debut, self-titled album by Dirty Looks.
With these types of reissue campaigns it is important to recognize that these releases may have limited appeal to fans of the bands from the first time around. Accordingly, it is critical that the label present a quality package to attract potential new fans and to entice buyers and the older fans who may already own the original pressing. Fortunately FNA recognizes this the package is really nice. Good graphics, nice layout, lyrics, photos etc make for a quality package. The debut happens to be a digi-pak. I would have liked to see some liner notes, essay, or maybe some commentary by the band talking about the origins of the album but you can’t have it all.
The Dirty Looks debut came out way back in 1984 as an indie release on the Sticky Label and was probably never issued on CD. Included as a nice, little bonus is the incredibly rare and obviously out of print debut 4-track EP, also called Dirty Looks. For 15 tracks clocking at just under an hour it is a good deal.
Musically, the band entered the Hard Rock, melodic Metal sweep-stakes quite early and had a few independent releases before getting picked up by a major label and coming to broader attention. This is pretty raw and primitive Hard Rock but you can hear the beginnings of what was to become a very popular and long running band. The songs fall into the 3-5 minute range, fun drinking songs, with some groove, lots of sex and fun, easy lyrics. The vocals of mainstay Henrik Ostergaard have always, in my mind, been one of the major attractions of the band. His unique delivery and vocal phrasing add a dimension to the band that makes them instantly recognizable. Good times sleazy rock ’n’ roll!
It might be pretty hard to find original master tapes that are over a quarter-of-a-century (!) old and remix and re-master them into something better but the label did a good job. The drums sound big and boomy and everything is nice and clear. As a fan from the early days myself, it is a real treat to hear these songs on CD. My old cassettes were getting worn pretty thin! If you are familiar with the band's recent work and want to explore their roots, or perhaps you only heard the few, big-label albums in the late 80s, or just want to discover some great driving, classic melodic rock this is an excellent place to start.