Dirty River Boys
DRB Music

From the very first notes, it’s clear that the self-titled release from El Paso’s Dirty River Boys is one finely polished record. That’s not always a welcome development, but the extra shine here enhances the popular live group’s folk-meets-punk-meets-pop dynamic without overshad- owing it with oily slick production. Recorded at the famed Sonic Ranch outside of El Paso under the distinguished ear of producer Chris “Frenchie” Smith, the vast majority of the songs here would have fit right in on any previous DRB release. The Nino Cooper-sung “Sailed Away” and “Thought I’d Let You Know,” which is led by Marco Rodriguez, both offer up the trademark gal- loping beats and gang-style sing-alongs that hopefully will always be a part of the band’s go-to bag of tricks. “Teenage Renegade,” meanwhile, offers evidence of the group’s continued evolu- tion via employment of electric guitar. It may not be revolutionary a la Dylan in ’65, but it’s just enough of a tantalizing tease to suggest that these Boys still have a lot of surprises up their tat- tooed sleeves. — KELLY DEARMORE

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