Straight-up rock 'n' roll is alive and kicking in the city as the members of Dirty Charms -- Trym Killi, Darryl Thumm, Rocky Lamonde and Angelo Amantea -- prepare to release their latest, Music Charms the Savage Beast.
With the exception of Killi, who is originally from Norway, the band members were born and bred in Pittsburgh. That local heritage helps define the origins of the music, too: Besides drawing inspiration from rock standouts like The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes and The Faces, the band references Norman Nardini as an influence, and covers a Nardini song ("Devil Did the Driving"). The convergence of old-school-rock influences results in a sound that's equal parts power pop, barroom boogie and British Invasion. (The band members, when forced to apply a label to their sound, refer to it as "Bohemian power-pop garage.")
Killi handles most of the vocals while playing guitar, though everyone shares in singing duty. From behind his drum kit, Amantea is ringmaster at every show; Lamonde plays bass, and Thumm guitar.
All four members have been in numerous bands over the years, earning the admiration of local rock fans. The bands once populated by members of Dirty Charms include: Science Fiction Idols, Five Star Dive, Torn 'n' Frayed, Hi Speeds, The Cosmosonics, and The Ultimatics.
That history of having known each other and played together before lends the band an easygoing vibe, one that helps its members move musically in the same direction. Whenever the band plays together, "I know I'm going to find a groove no matter what," Amantea says.
"It's relaxed and fun to hang out together," adds Killi, who writes most of the songs. The best thing about being in the band, he says, is "the social aspect."
"It sure isn't for the money," Lamonde offers.
Music Charms the Savage Beast is tight and filled with infectious pop-rock melodies -- the sign of a band that's got experience, but whose love of music keeps it from settling into a rut.
"Every time I play, I get a high," Lamonde says.
"We just want to play some songs and enjoy it," says Thumm.
DIRTY CHARMS CD RELEASE with LONG TIME DARLINGS. 10 p.m. Fri., Nov. 25. Frankie and Georgie's, 5832 Forward Ave., Squirrel Hill. $5. 412-422-5027 or www.frankieandgeorgies.com