Cabin by the Sea – The Dirty Heads

I want to start this off by saying if you don’t know The Dirty Heads, you should get to…really well. The Dirty Heads are hard to categorize into one genre because they cover a multitude of genres within their unique and soothing sounds. But, I guess the best way to sum these guys up is a delightful blend of Reggae, Hip Hop, Alternative Rock, and Acoustic. They’re from Huntington Beach, California, so you know its good vibes only, and if I haven’t said enough to convince you to check them out hopefully the next few sentences will grab your attention. These dudes are nearly incapable of making even “iffy” music (I don’t even want to say the word “bad” in association with this band). Cabin by the Sea was my review of choice because I thoroughly believe everyone should have this 50-minute escape from reality in their life. This album includes a little bit of everything I mentioned before, as well as beautifully crafted lyrics and only the funkiest/soothing/good mood inducing instrumentals.

The Vocals:

I think it’s the funniest thing that two dudes named “Dirty J”– who is the lead singer and occasional backup vocalist, and “Duddy B”– who is the lead guitarist, as well as a lead singer but more often a backup vocalist are so capable of creating such magnificent melodious and mood-lifting music. Their names, as well as calling their band “The Dirty Heads,” is pretty misleading towards their overall sound and messages that are told by their lyrics.

Their vocals are like a salad. A lot of their earlier works are heavy on the indie ‘beach boys’ type vocals, for lack of a better term; sort of a Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz type vibes. A great example of this is on the track “Notice.” This is the base of The Dirty Heads salad, they add toppings of more upbeat pop style songs like “Cabin by the Sea” while still maintaining their own (very original) sound. They then dress the salad with flawlessly written and incredibly delivered rap verses hidden around the album, my favorite on this album is “Mongo Push” (My favorite of all time is “Sloth’s Revenge” off of yet another one of their fantastic albums Home: Phantoms of Summer).

They take their vocals into the stratosphere with their ability to harmonize with one another as well as the rest of the band. Their harmonies are the ones that give you those little bursts of chills when you hear them, and they do this on just about every song. A fantastic example of this is on “Burn by Myself.”

The Instrumentals:

Oh…the instrumentals are, simply put, beautiful. But let’s talk about it. As I’ve said before, their overall sound is composed of many different things, but their instrumentals hold all the different genres together by always maintaining an acoustic guitar heavy, island-type sound. If I didn’t know any better I might just assume these dudes are from Jamaica based off their instrumentals. On their more hip-hop heavy songs they use the funkiest instrumentals. I’m talking awesome drum kits, distorted guitars, and nice little instrumental breakdowns where they absolutely murder quick-witted verses.

Earth’s my home for now it seems
But Mars is in my destiny
I’m just floating high on steam
I’ll come down eventually
Just to get some Listerine
‘Cause verbally I’m disgusting”

That’s literally a five-second snippet of one of Duddy B’s verses on “Mongo Push.” As you can see, these dudes have some real serious writing skills. But back to the instruments. Their blended sound just makes you want to bob your head, and by the end of the album will have you up and dancing around your living room.

The Features:

Legen– wait for it– DARY. The Dirty Heads are batting with a squad of absolute units and hitting home run after home run with their features. The first feature we see is one of Bob Marley’s sons Kymani Marley on “Your love.” Immediately after this, we get blessed with a delicious verse from Rome, who is best known from the collective Sublime with Rome. Then, in comes Reggae legend Matisyahu, most famous for “One Day,” on “Dance All Night.” Just when we think the features are over, Del the Funky Homosapien, a rapper best known for his song “If I Must” stops by and drops a ridiculously hot verse on “Smoke Rings.” The Dirty Heads seriously have some legendary talent on this album.

The Overall Vibe:

I could seriously write forever about this album, this band, and everything they do, but we’re limited to this album, whose vibes are magical. It’s an album with its own voice, and it’s screaming “GOOD VIBES ONLY.” The Dirty Heads only preach positive messages, from simply living life without regret to reminding listeners that sometimes it’s okay to “burn by yourself.” Every song just makes you smile. Their view on life comes through on their music and reminds you to love yourself, do what makes you happy, and enjoy our time we have while we have it.

The Essentials:

“Cabin By the Sea,” “Mongo Push,” “Day By Day,” “Smoke Rings,” and “Burn by Myself.”

The Rating:

I’ve been speaking highly about this band and this band. While this is my first review and I don’t quite have a process to determine a rating I do believe this album is absolutely fantastic. That being said, I’ll give it a:

8.0

Solid 8…their lyrics are insanely uplifting, beautifully presented to the listener, and the instrumentals are absolute bops. I want to rate it higher, but there are songs that mellow the upbeat vibes and feel ever so slightly out of place, which for me dropped the rating a little bit.

I suggest the next time you wake up and make yourself a coffee, throw this album on, watch the beauty of life from your window, and let The Dirty Heads transport you to a Cabin by the Sea. You won’t regret this one.

– JMac

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