New York, New York, United States
It's a shame there aren't more bands like Dirty Fences these days. You know what we're talking about: Acts made up of musicians who know how to play their instruments, write timeless songs and have a blast while doing it. Fresh off releasing a well-received self-titled EP on Volcom last year the band are now ready to unleash their full-length Too High To Kross—and if you think rock n' roll is dead, get ready for your world to be flipped off its axis.
Bassist/vocalist Max Comaskey, vocalist/guitarist Jack Daves and drummer/vocalist Max Hiersteiner began playing together while attending high school in Boston and in 2009 they moved the band to Brooklyn and recruited Max Roseglass on guitar/vocals. Dirty Fences refer to themselves as a gang and that mentality is evident in every razor sharp riff and perfectly executed harmony on Too High To Kross, an album that evokes early American rock and punk acts such as Red Kross, MC5, Johnny Thunders, The Ramones and The Stooges.
However those names are just reference points because what Dirty Fences is doing is truly unique and moreover it's rambunctious, melodic, fun and dangerous… something that they managed to convey by recording the instrumentation for their new album completely live with Jake and Toby Vest at High/Low Recording in Memphis, Tennessee. "All the basic tracks were done in two or three takes and we just banged them out in order to try to capture the energy of the live show in the recording," Comaskey explains. "I think that really comes across with these songs."
While recording technology couldn't capture the sweat and frenzy of Dirty Fences' legendary live shows, sonically Too High To Kross is about as close as you can get. From instantly catchy, no-frills rockers such as "Heaven Is Tonight" and "Rose In A Vice" to the Alice Cooper-esque solid rock groove of "What's That Strange?" and harmony-driven melodic numbers such as "Always On My Mind," Too High To Kross is an album in the classic sense of the term; 13 songs, 32 minutes and not one second of filler.
Equally impressive is how relevant Too High To Kross sounds despite the fact that the members have steeped themselves in their knowledge of rock and punk history. "We like a lot of music that happened during a certain era but we're also a product of the world we live in and I think both of those aspects play into our sound equally," Roseglass explains. "I think the strength of our music comes from the fact that we like so many different types of bands and when we say we like something from 1977 it could be Thin Lizzy or Kool & The Gang; when it comes to good music, we don't discriminate."
When Dirty Fences aren't on the road odds are that you can find them at their house in Brooklyn, complete with a practice space in the basement and a quarter pipe in the backyard. "If we're not practicing downstairs we're writing song, booking a tour or listening to records, we have a tireless work ethic," Comaskey explains. "We don't have careers; this is what we're going to do for the rest of our lives and so it has to come first and everything else has to work around the band."
Playing for three hours every day in the basement and touring alongside everyone from The Shrine to Cults has helped this foursome cultivate a relationship that's as tight as their relentless rhythm section. "We are a rock n' roll band in the traditional sense and only these four people can do what we do," Daves adds. "There's a reason why we play with each other and if we're not playing together we're all hanging out."
Then there's the aforementioned live show, which is a raucous explosion of riffs, energy and enthusiasm that makes every DIY venue feel like an arena. "It's a party onstage and we have the entire crowd going completely insane then we'll bring it down for a minute to get everyone's attention before we bring it back and knock everyone on the floor again," Comaskey explains.
Ultimately it's the world that has to conform to Dirty Fences, not the other way around. "If you go to a show to hear useless banter, tuning guitars and all that bullshit don't come to our shows because we're not going to give you enough time to breathe," Hiersteiner summarizes. "We dive in and we'll be underwater the whole time, leaving you gasping for breath." That said, if you make it to the end of the ride it's more than worth the risk so sit back, crank it up and learn how good it feels to be Too High To Kross.
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