I'll take tea over revenge if it is served by Dirty Martini. The Portland-based girl rockers are so clever and spunky that I'd hate to be on their black list. The trio is back with a sophomore album, Tea and Revenge, that is so easy to like, yet off the already-heard-it path, that it makes me want to tack a poster to the inside of my locker and put their patch on my backpack.
That might be because they have an ability to make me feel like a teenager really listening to the words, "getting" their message, singing along, and telling you, my friends, that you gotta hear this album. They are like precocious girls who make you feel cool for not being misled of their talent just because they are cute. I think I have a crush.
The whole album is uncomplicated but not simplistic. Instead, Dirty Martini captures all the glow of intricate emotions and makes them easy, relatable and catchy.
The ladies of Dirty Martini have pretty, girly voices, which go well with the catchy melodic choruses, but they nail the balance of cool with the adroit and fascinating stories and rocking Americana/classic-alternative guitar riffs. Dirty Martini is sort of like mixing the Breeders, Frente and olive juice and pouring it into a cold glass of Lilith Fair.
By the first few lines of the first song on the disc, "Waiting for Magic," it is clear that catchy arrangements are both the goal and something that comes naturally to the musicians. It is also clear in the beginning that you'll be singing along by the second half of the song.
They describe their album pretty well in the words of the song "Enough of Empty": "If the world needs childlike wonder, open up your eyes"--and your ears and pop this disc into your stereo.