Stephen E. from FORT WORTH, TX Reviewed on 5/22/2014...
The phenomenal major label debut by Dirty Looks! As a fan I learned of Dirty Looks from their third album, 5 Easy Pieces, which is another awesome album. The album Cool From the Wire has a very raw and loose feel to it. The vibe is one of coolness from the guitar licks that you hear here.
My favorites are Cool From the Wire, Get Off, Put a Spell On You (Their concert opener that I most remember live), and my favorite from the album No Brains Child with it's raw opening chords. Dirty Looks was a band that didn't get the sales they deserved but this album stands the test of time. Some things you listen to years later even though you enjoy them sound like they've aged and happily this isn't one of them!
I give this album a 5 out of 5 stars just because it stands the test of time and doesn't sound like a cheesy 80's band but sounds like a band that knew who they were and knew exactly what they wanted in the studio. Of course, having Max Norman producing helped to give the album the great sound as well!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a long time Dirty Looks fan I hafta say, Cool from the Wire is one of they're best Albums. This CD ROCKS from start to finish. Some of my other favorites by D.L. are, Turn Of The Screw, Chewing On The Bit, and Five Easy Pieces.These guys truly ROCK!!!!!"
One of the best bands from the 80s you never heard
Michael Javorka | Minersville, PA United States | 11/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being from Pennsylvania, I discovered Dirty Looks in a roundabout way. I had gone to college at the University of Texas at Austin in 1987 and, admittedly, I wasn't really ready to be taking my studies seriously. Hormones were driving me crazy and I spent more time studying female anatomy than my major of mechanical engineering. One of the places I frequented on the weekends was The Back Room, a place that would feature showcases of about 4 bands each night of the week, with the most popular local bands appearing on Fridays and Saturdays. I would usually arrive pretty early, having to rely on public transportation, so I'd spend a lot of time sitting drinking soda and admiring the scenery of big haired, made-up, metal chicks while waiting for the bands to go on stage. It was during this time that the DJ at the club would ALWAYS play the first four songs on the COOL FROM THE WIRE album. It was instantly catchy from the very first note of the title track, which opens the album, although I had no idea what was being said in the chorus (I thought it was something like "you, you from the wild"). The second track, IT'S NOT THE WAY YOU ROCK, also caught my interest. Here was a band that was playing straight-ahead hard rock in an era of increasingly over-produced, cheesed-up, synth-heavy poseur metal that favored image over substance. This song ended up on the soundtrack of 1988's Johnny Be Good, although it is hardly even noticeable in the film.
As the third track, CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF OF YOU, played, it was somewhat of a cooling off period. Not quite as catchy, at least upon first listen, but still was a pretty solid song. The wordplay within the song had a certain charm which made me think, "I don't know what he's saying, but he sounds good saying it." As it turned out, one of the lines that I got a kick out of was "Oh shimmy shimmy co-co gimme gimme more of... more of what you got for me." I still think it's pretty cool today. Then came the song for which they actually had a video - OH, RUBY. It suddenly struck me. Is this an old Bon Scott AC/DC album I had never heard? There is a place in this song where Henrik, the vocalist, breaks into a spoken part in which he sounds like a dead-ringer for Bon Scott... a band who also just happened to be on the same Atlantic record label with them, albeit now 8 years into the growling Brian Johnson era. To me, this band sounded like what AC/DC with Bon Scott would be like if AC/DC had updated their sound with a bit flashier guitar playing, i.e. more than 3-chord songs and faster solos. Upon closer listening, the Bon Scott style voice started to shine thru in all the songs, just slightly higher pitched. I had to track down this album.
When I finally found it and could afford it (I was a starving college student), I bought it and played it to death. My favorite songs from the rest of the album would include PUT A SPELL ON YOU, NO BRAINS CHILD, and GET OFF, although that's not to take away from the remaining tunes. But if I had to pick the "best of" from this album, it would include all of the songs I mentioned, possibly excluding EYES... It's such a solid album that, other than the song TOKYO, it's an album I can listen to from start to finish repeatedly and almost never grow tired of it.
But here's the major problem with this album, and quite possibly the reason for it's failing to make any impact at the time. It was released in 1987, when the LP was still a very popular music format. In fact, I don't think it was even released as a CD until 1990. Couldn't Atlantic have spared at least a LITTLE bit of money to give this gem of an album a DECENT COVER? Imagine looking at this album's cover in 12" x 12" size. What would you make of it? In an era where looks was everything, they put a black and white extreme close-up of the singer (and the singer only) making a not-so-dirty-look, and then overlaying the band's logo in hot pink over his left eye. Compare this to Poison's LOOK WHAT THE CAT DRAGGED IN or Cinderella's NIGHT SONGS and you'll see there's no comparison (well, the hot pink logo would match Cinderella at least). Who did Atlantic think they were marketing this to? Granted, they didn't wear the make up or outrageous clothes those two bands did, but the audience was still the same. I'd venture to say fans of those bands would have snagged this one if it only had a cover to lure them in. The album title also didn't help matters, even though the song itself is great. Seriously, if I said to you "Hey, check out Cool from the Wire," who WOULDN'T say "...huh?" Unfortunately, listeners of the time judged the book, or I suppose I should say ALBUM, by its cover and its title just gave no indication of what to expect.
Amusingly, it appeared I had to move to Texas to hear a band that hailed from my home state. The local Austin Z-Rock affiliate radio station played a few of the band's songs on a semi-regular basis, but the band just never seemed to catch on with the glam-crazed fans of the time. What amazed me was that this debut album, as good as it was, was about to be topped by their follow-up album entitled TURN OF THE SCREW, which was met with even less fanfare than this one. Truly a shame."
BON SCOTT REINCARNATED!!!
Mykhal O. Swearingen | Seward, AK. USA | 06/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You wouldn't know the differance if you closed your eyes.. Dirty Looks is one hell of a band!!! This group makes what Rock should sound like, TOTALLY 80'S HARD METAL!!!!"
The best overlooked album of all time!!!!!!!
Headbanger By Nature | Left Coast | 10/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Cd (and cassette tape before that) have been played more times at my house than any or all of my other 800+ discs combined. It never gets old! Another reviewer talked about Brooken Teeth (Paul's project) He should also look into Rumbledog-Rumbledog & Rumbledog-Drowning Pool (Henriks' project) also Burning Orange-Taar (Henrik on guitars) they are hard to find masterpieces. Anyone that likes 80's Hard Rock or Ac/Dc around the Dirty Deeds-High Voltage era should look into DIRTY LOOKS! They are by far my Favorite band and have been since around 1989 when I discovered Cool From The Wire. I done everything I can think of to grow my collection from then. Don't stop with the 3 listed CD's. They are all great. I even have I Want More, In Your Face and the self titled idependant releases. Cool From The Wire, Turn Of The Screw, Five Easy Pieses, Bootlegs, One Bad Leg, Chewing On The Bit, Rip It Out, Slave To The Machine, Rumbledog-Rumbledog, Rumbledog-Drowning Pool, & Burning Orange-Taar close out my collection. "
Sadly overlooked Pa band and debut record
Patrick Mitsdarfer | Williamsport, PA United States | 02/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the major label debut from Henrik and the boys. It sounds quite well after all these years. Production values are good thanx to Max Norman(of Ozzy fame). I actually saw these guys twice in 1985. Yes, they smoked and Paul Liddel shredded. His major influence was Rik Emmitt of Triumph. You gotta like that!! Overall this album rocks solid, highlights are Cool from the wire, I put a spell on you, oh ruby. This is a fun record with lots of energy. I agree with another reviewer that a reunion with these guys would go over well. So Henrik, Paul, Jack and Gene, one more for old times sake! Either way this is a good rockin/sorta heavy rock record. I say buy it, also Turn of the screw is pretty good also. Enjoy!!"