Mitch and Sam have to come up with $50,000 and fast! The only problem is neither one can hold down a job.
Evidently, Brian Setzer doesn't take the jump blues and swing of the Brian Setzer Orchestra as a joke. Dirty Boogie is his third album with his large band, and instead of sounding tired, the record is the group's best effort yet. Setzer rocks the band hard, tearing through blues and rock & roll covers with vigor, and delivering made-to-order originals that are surprisingly well crafted and memorable. Much attention will be paid to "You're the Boss," a cover of the Elvis Presley/Ann Margaret staple from Viva Las Vegas, performed as a duet with No Doubt's Gwen Stefani, but that's hardly the only highlight here – it's a swinging, rocking record that suggests Setzer's skills are only improving with time.
"Mellow" might have been recorded in a shipyard–augmenting Jack Hersca's nagging if fetching guitar and Gene Lake's steady if seething drums is a rhythm element that suggests a boat whistle heard across a moonless harbor. Next track the artist makes his pop bid with a catchy femme-chorus refrain and a guest star: Polly Jean Harvey, what a draw! For another three songs, a decent level of musical amenity is maintained: Martina's crooning tale of woe underpinned by low-register guitar/keyb riffs of unspecified origin and Calvin Weston's free drumming, three-note distorto hook beneath Tricky's speed-mumble, xylophonish tinkle countered by a keyb belch like an engine that won't catch. Thereafter the residues of grimy technologies settle into permanent low-level disorder: foghorns lowing, brakes complaining, clocks sounding across windswept nights, locomotives struggling uphill. He's a hater not a fighter, and the devil is in his details. So give that man a set of horns–he's earned them.