Published Oct 25, 2018Toronto punk band Dirty Work might kick off their second album, In the West End, by claiming they're "Ready to Go," but the album doesn't really pick up until the back half. After a few somewhat indistinguishable tracks, the band hit their stride with "Let's Hit the Road," featuring Paul Sorrels, vocalist for American street punk band the Virus. The turn might be subtle, but everything from the gang vocals to the lyrics sound more confident, energetic, and, frankly, more fun.
"Brother" and title track stand out as two of the strongest — and longest — songs from the album. In the West End closes with a cover of "Gang Warfare" by the Strike, one of the first oi! bands. It's the sort of cover that adds little to the original, but it still sounds good, and it seems fitting to end a run of some of the band's best songs by referencing one of the pioneers of the genre.
Modern rock often aspires to a sort of timelessness — punk is no exception. There are moments where Dirty Work are able to capture that timelessness, but like so many other contemporary bands, they can't help but fall into a state of staleness and redundancy in their attempt to capture it. (Food Waste)