Pittsburgh sextet The Dirty Faces' shambling, underground rock 'n' roll can't be described as punk, garage or indie, yet it's all of those things and more. Their fourth album, Get Right With God, is the second in a planned trilogy on Brah Records that began with Superamerican: a trilogy bent on exposing the underbelly of the sports-worshipping, God-fearing, flag-waving Middle American psyche through the scratchy, distortion-laden lyrical poetry of unstable vocalist T. Glitter (a.k.a. Terry Carroll).
Written in the usual haze of booze and drugs, the album references '70s classic rock riffs a la Bad Company and Foghat as well as Stooges punk, Butthole Surfers freakouts, The Fall's teetering choogle, even a bit of Bad Seeds darkness, all while retaining its own powerful punch. Kicking off with up-tempo stompers "Dead's Man Boots" and "Somnambulist's Vacation," Get Right soon settles down into mostly slow burners, sinking the listener into a churning molasses of the band's own making.
The production's as grungy as Royal Trux in its heyday, courtesy of Will Dyar (of fellow "Rickety Rock" band The Skinks). Though some band members have more than a decade of experience on their instruments, Get Right isn't about chops or flash, but a feeling.
Perhaps it's the feeling of living far too long in an aging, working-class city where nothing much happens unless you bring over a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon -- and where practice has to wait until after the Steelers game. T. Glitter wants to "live life like Rocky Bleier"; there's a sense of commentary on this region's wallowing in past glories and persistent Rust Belt myths that need a serious overhaul. Glitter suggests we "push it along," and the sentiment seems sincere, not slathered with hipster irony.
No wonder Lynn Swann thought he had a shot at the governor's mansion.
The Dirty Faces CD release with The Skinks and The Human Brains. Thu., Nov 9. 10 p.m. $5. Over 21. 31st Street Pub, Strip District. 412-391-8334.