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The Dirty Royals
Obsessed America

Apart from the fact that the Dirty Royals are trying way, way too hard to stress their English-ness (which still seems fairly ambiguous, despite the over-punctuated accents, super-Brit album art, snotty pseudo-spy narratives, etc…), Obsessed America plays out like a surprisingly good set of some obscure but promising opening band.

The EP’s title track is faux-political mock-commentary, completely void of insight, but catchy as hell. The Dirty Royals’ potent blend of pop rock chutzpah and mod-garage barrage of boiling powerchords (not to mention a few shy hints of psychedelia peeking out here and there) makes Obsessed America an entirely listenable joyride. The crunchy, life-affirming guitar crumble of “I Feel Alive” pairs nicely with indulgent catcall verses. Not exactly new ground, but the Royals’ tread it confidently and with a sense of humor intact.

Studio tricks and wall-of-sound vocal harmonies keep the tracks fresh, despite a generally similar aesthetic (jangly guitars + sing-songy rhymes about nothing in particular + an impenetrably stomping backbeat). Even a few goofy breakdowns (see “I Feel Like a Sucker”) and a poorly conceived ballad (“There’s a Riot Going On”) can’t quite damage these goodtime California Brits.

Favorite Track: Track 1, "Obsessed America”

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Christopher j Ewing is a writer and filmmaker living in San Francisco with a girl and a designer dog (Chihuahua vs. dachshund). He is in a band by himself and has a myspace account ( and a production company ( for freelance film and crit/journo work.

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