Ken Leighton 8 a.m., June 28
Sound description: If Black Sabbath had Karen O as a singer and listened to a lot of Black Keys and had a threesome while Jack White watched, it would sound like the Dirty Sirens.
RIYL: Dead Feather Moon, Earthless, Black Sabbath, White Stripes, Black Keys, White Witch, Jack Black, Alan White
- "Dear Santa" · Dec. 18, 2013
- "Now You Know: Dirty Sirens" · Nov. 29, 2012
Inception: San Diego, 2012
Influences: Black Sabbath, White Stripes, Black Keys
The Dirty Sirens were rock ’n’ roll’s fallen angels amplified. A cauldron full of debauchery, riffs, nudity, sweat, sexuality, and pummeling drums.
Singer Monterey Salka wailed like a banshee as she stalks the stage, screaming over the punishing and relentless riffs dealt out by Christy Hüber. They were the band’s heart and soul, front and center, but the pulse of the rhythm section is as potent. On “Siren Song,” drummer Eric Pietsch delivered a beat at once tribal, psychedelic, and blues metal.
The band rose from the ashes of Hüber’s more folky band in mid-2012. According to Salka, “Christy was in April Ventura & the Magnolias and they broke up...and we were playing music for fun, doing the whole folk thing, [then] we started writing songs that went from cutesy Laura Marling to an angrier edge.”
Hüber says “I was really lazy, and you can do folk without finding other people to play with; then I got less lazy ’cause I got excited...acoustic shit was depressing me...it wasn’t fun anymore. I didn’t get to play any lead guitar, and I was sick of singing about assholes and getting sad about it. I wanted to sing about assholes and get mad about it — much more fun. We wrote a song that was angry and we were, like, Shit, I think we need a backing band.”
Hüber has an imposing guitar tone that you can hear while parking your car outside the venue. She knows her way around a riff that hints at the nascent stages of metal without sounding cliché. There are nods to indie blues revivalists such as the Black Keys and White Stripes, but with the machine-gun drum attack and devil-may-care lyricism, they hit harder, dirtier, and reach back to the middle finger that rock ’n’ roll once hoisted high toward any establishment.
The band played a Tuesday night residency at the Griffin through April 2013, around the same time their self-titled debut EP dropped. By October of that year, however, the group announced it had split, just in time for their self-titled debut to win Best Rock Album at that year's San Diego Music Awards.
- Dirty Sirens EP