The Dirty Hearts
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The Dirty Hearts

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States
Band Alternative Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Texas Platters "Pigs" Review"


The Dirty Hearts
Pigs (Socyermom)

On this heavy, solid, grittily professional follow-up to their 2006 eponymous disc, Austinites the Dirty Hearts re-create the sound of the alt-rock salad days of the early 1990s with uncanny precision. With the music divorced from historical context, the appeal of the sort of shackled punk that dominated alternative radio for half a decade is surprisingly obvious: Songs such as Pigs' raging title track and the snotty yet sensitive "Where I Come From" hit hard and square for a quintessential rock payoff. At the same time, music this humble tends to live or die by the quality of its hooks, and here, some are better than others. Probably none is classic. For those with fond memories of workhorse alternative bands like Nada Surf and the Meices, Pigs is a dose of welcome nostalgia. For the rest, it's nothing more or less than a pretty good punk album.
- Austin Chronicle

"Pigs Album Review"

I've had this Dirty Hearts CD for ages now, but never really got around to opening up the disc until today. Which is funny and appropriate, because today is actually the day the album comes out for mass consumption.

The Dirty Hearts' brand of Stooges-influenced garage rock is not my usual audio fare whatsoever. In fact, I nearly turned it off and passed it onto someone else after the first half of the first track, "Record Store." But after the hook made an appearance, I was... hooked. Lurking above the presence of a haunting organ was expert use of syncopation and synchronization that perfectly melded voice and guitar and used them to create rhythm. I don't recall ever hearing vocals being treated in such a manner; it's as though The Dirty Hearts consider vocals an instrument that pulls its own weight.

Pigs shows a charming but crass display of The Dirty Hearts' irreverence. Their music is stripped-down rock n' roll with nothing showy about it. Good songwriting is the key factor, and hypnotic guitar riffs that fall somewhere between the grungy and the bluesy join hands to create a sound that seems to be timeless. - Redefine Magazine

"The Dirty Hearts Album Review"

Not to judge an album by its cover, but it’s worth mentioning that the picture of Frankie Medina and Calida on the inside of the Dirty Hearts' self-titled debut release is damn sexy, and smacks of more than just a little cheap motel grit. But then that seems to be the line that group is working throughout the album. From the opening riffs on the first track “New One,” there’s a definite raw surge of energy in the sound that is coupled with a palpable sensuousness. Calida’s sultriness mixes in with Medina’s blitzkrieg of punched-out verses to keep the song torn with indecision. There’s a strutting beat that kicks lyrics like “You look so beautiful / Walkin’ down Congress suckin’ on a red bull / I see them stop and stare / Everybody wants some, I’ve already vacationed there” into high gear, and the song ends with the Calida’s intentionally perky and cloying call out of “Hey Frankie!” and the singer’s dismissive and indifferent response “Oh no, not you again / It’s just so boring. / I think I’ll just put on / My old shirt.”

“New One,” especially with its abrupt ending, works perfectly in playing off of the dynamic between the core duo of the group. The songs are at their best when they’re exploiting that play between Calida’s and Medina’s vocals, as in “The Body Song” or “Take Her All Around.” But just as “New One” leaves us with the feeling that Frankie is bound to settle once again with the admittedly sexy girl that he nonetheless detests, the album also seems unwilling to commit to either its second-wave punk tendencies or its more mainstream alternative fallout. Not that the result isn’t sometimes spot-on perfect (and you can tell the songs must be explosive when performed live), but you get the sense through much of the album’s second half that the Dirty Hearts aren’t quite willing to make the push in either direction. Like the picture on inside cover, it’s seedy and sordid enough to hint at that classic degenerate punk edge, but also doesn’t really seem to want to go there.

Despite this somewhat ambivalent pull, most of the tracks still work extremely well between those two veins. In fact, if taken individually, the songs are often exceptional - in no small part due to the group’s ability to create some of the most readily addictive choruses around. “Take Her All Around,” for example, is the farthest removed from the rest of the album with its more pop-styled sound, but it is also one of the best cuts. And then the group is just as likely throw in garage blasts like “Sinner’s Safari,” howls reminiscent of the Offspring like on “Play Dead,” or synthesized flourishes like “The Body Song.” Figuring out exactly where the Dirty Hearts are trying to go is perplexing, and maybe, as with most debut albums, even they aren’t exactly sure yet. But it seems that they could easily excel down any path they choose. Of course, they may just as easily determine to keep defying those expectations around every corner, but as a definite band worth keeping an eye on, they could nail something pretty damn spectacular with either a little more dirt or a little more heart.

- Doug Freeman - Austin Sound

"The Dirty Hearts album Review"

The Dirty Hearts are either good at being bad or bad at being good, but good luck divining a definitive answer from their naughty New Wave. The local quartet's debut strikes such an alluring balance between contentment and catastrophe it's almost impossible not to get swept along, and its breakneck pace renders petty details like who did what to whom almost irrelevant. If you can catch them, there's some salient observations on modern relationships here, accentuated by taunting boy-girl vocals and disguised by sugary hooks that conceal their sharp edges until long after Romeo is bleeding. Try robotic love poem "The Body Song," Spoon-like "Style," and fluid "Take Her All Around" for starters, bearing in mind the Pixies' smirking specter is never very far away. If anything, this baker's dozen guitar-keyboard concoctions is a shade monochromatic, but so were the Thin Man movies, and they've held up just fine. - The Austin Chronicle

"Press Release"

Washington, D.C. - While posing as a national news crew to cover a presidential address on stem cell research, an Austin band called The Dirty Hearts managed to sneak their instruments into the Oval Office and shoot the first ever Oval Office video for their song "New One". The Oval Office operation was led by director Mark Larranaga (Karma Kollective/Neurotica Pictures) who was thought to be covering the press conference. They were subsequently found and arrested by White House secret service, prompting a security lock down on the White House compound. The regular White House briefing was delayed until the area was secured. The band was released and charges were dropped after the personal intervention of Jenna Bush, a frequent visitor to the Austin music scene. President Bush met with the band and immediately announced a change in his position on stem cell research. He was quoted as saying "I support anything that might help mentally disadvantaged people like the Dirty Hearts live a normal life of normality." On April 27th The Dirty Hearts will be showing the video footage for the first time at The Mohawk followed by a performance. The show starts at 10pm with Stock Market Crash and The Burning Hotels. The Dirty Hearts will hit the stage at 12:30 followed by DJ Markus (Flashlight Party). - Salt Shaker Music

"The Dirty Hearts Album Review"

When you are a hard rock fan, you sometimes find yourself fighting toe-tapping and head-bobbing when listening to something lighter and more fun. Where this mode of self-deprivation comes from, I don't know. If our bodies like the music, we should just let it happen. Sometimes, if we are really lucky, we endure our own prejudices long enough to discover a kick-ass band. The Dirty Hearts is one such band.

Even when the kitsch and the vigor are pushed aside, there still remains an interesting sound that is diversified by different speeds and keyboard garnishes where applicable. Indeed, The Dirty Hearts are ideal party music yet this album is good for any occasion. Its dimension makes it guilt free and its style is thickened up enough to still rock.

- Briana Hernandez - Owl Magazine (San Francisco, CA)

""Pigs" Album Review by Austin Sound"

The first thing one is likely to notice about The Dirty Hearts’ second full length album, Pigs, is how muscular it sounds. Primarily the work of Frankie Medina and Calida (with help from Keith McManus and Terri Lord filling in as the rhythm section), Pigs thunders and stomps like a major-league- radio-ready rock record. There’s really nothing stopping a single track on this album from being played in dive bar jukeboxes and on modern rock radio.

Pigs’ opener, “Record Store” finds the Dirty Hearts swaggering like Mike Ness and the boys in Social Distortion, if Social D had Joey Santiago giving them guitar solo lessons. Frankie’s voice channels Ness’ voice and spirit as he repeats, “It doesn’t matter to me/ Yeah Yeah/ I’m in the record store/ I’m in the record store/ I’m in the record store/ I’m in the record store.” Between “Record Store” and its follow-up, the organ-tinged burner “Cold Feet”, the album sounds meatier than most albums recorded on budgets an order of magnitude larger.

The amazing thing about Pigs is that the band doesn’t fanatically stick to their garage rock roots and sacrifice the hook like so many other bands. On the title track, the chorus of “I want pigs to fly/ Want pigs to die/ Want pigs to burn” is a perfectly crafted moment of rock and roll; all great harmonies, a great snaking synth line, and crushing drums. Perhaps the only misstep the band takes is on the Foo Fighters-aping “Where I Come From”. Were it not for the carnival organ part, it would completely lack the spunk and charm of the other tracks (such is the drawback of having 10 other great tunes).

The Dirty Hearts aren’t particularly hip or cutting edge; As such, Pigs is unfortunately not likely to garner a lot of attention. Hopefully the band doesn’t give up hope, because their second album bodes well for their future provided people tune in and not out. Like the thousands of bands before them, The Dirty Hearts make music for raising a beer and pumping a fist – only better.
- Marc Perlman

""Pigs" Album Review"

This gritty group has expanded from a duo to a four-piece on this, their second full-length. And the confidence accrued from meshing well with a couple other new pals comes through from the get-go. First there are a few grimy graveyard stomps (were that graveyard the site of a jocks-geeks kegger stand-off). Then they soon move into '95 indie rock ("Cold Feet," "Pigs") abetted by slinky horns or keys; then shift over mostly to a neck-scruff yank on the kind of tried and true, fuzz-filled, Farfisa-fueled, barroom kick of rootsers like Blood On The Wall or the Forty-Fives. Sometimes that neck-yank rips flesh, like on "No Strings Attached" and "Sin Ataduras," streaked with cutting guitar screeches and a Cobain gas-huff huff. Oh, and they speak in Spanish every once in awhile, in case you're the kind that needs multi-cultural accents to verify that it's okay to get up and stomp around the floorboards to "just" very solid rock'n'roll. Considering this is a sophomore slab, and with an EP in there somewhere too, leader Frankie Medina's non-affected vox and the current configuration's general musical musculature makes Pigs feel like the Dirty Hearts are just warming up. - CMJ

""Pigs" album review"

"Pigs" by the Dirty Hearts pulls no punches from the moment the album launches into “Record Store” with an aggressive, sleazy garage-rock sound that would make the Stooges proud. The Dirty Hearts pound out fuzzy, guitar-driven rock piled on top of melancholy, angry vocals. Sometimes sounding like early Smashing Pumpkins, the Dirty Hearts descend more from the visceral energy of Iggy Pop and Frank Black.

Still, Pigs winds into unexpected territory soon enough with the somber “Alone” and the amazing intro to “Cold Feet,” full of memorable riffs and saxophone-generated mood.

The title track offers a wonderful chorus, serving up that crunchy Grunge sound that sticks to the ribs.

“Where I Come From” has the '60s organ backing a Foo Fighters sound, dishing out some catchy punk flavor. These are just some of the more interesting tracks on "Pigs," an album brimming over with debauchery.

The Dirty Hearts, originating from the southwest, have made a name for themselves long before "Pigs" with their "Five Canciones Five Pesos" EP, their self-titled first album, a successful tour and an appearance on the Andy Dick show. No doubt, "Pigs" will not let fans down, as it is full of nervous energy in the vein of the Pixies and an edge something like Soundgarden. The artwork on the album, grotesque and meaty, is enough to lure in avid curiosity seekers and fans of high-energy garage rock.

- Metro Spirit (Augusta, GA)

""Pigs" Album Review"

Listening to this latest CD from The Dirty Hearts, it’s easy to imagine yourself at the live show, pushing through the sweaty crowd and catching some second-hand nicotine in your lungs. No question, Pigs makes you want to get out and knock around and throw an elbow or two.
The band’s sound is partly inspired by Nirvana, the Stooges, and Iggy Pop. Frankie Medina (guitar, vocals) rocks the mic in a way that brings Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis to mind. “Cold Feet” especially pays tribute to the Pixies with the haunting harmonizing of Calida’s vocals in the background, and the album in general is reminiscent of Social D and Sonic Youth; but these 1990s comparisons are a pigeonhole this mammoth of an indie rock band will never squeeze into. Bulging with driving rhythms, strong lyrics (and I mean real muscle), and aggressive beats, The Dirty Hearts is 1990s garage rock all grown up. Welcome to the millennium, punk music.

Thanks to the aforementioned Medina and Calida, along with the masterly backing of Keith McManus and Walrus (bass and drums), there hasn’t been a band quite as capable of banging through the speakers in quite a few years. Pigs is so good it will actually make it from your living room—where just about any band has a chance at rotation—to a more permanent spot in your car, where all the favorites really live. Let’s just say your other CDs will be jealous. Dirty Hearts, we’re “so glad we met ya.” If you want to meet them, don’t miss the CD release show this Saturday at Emo’s.



EP 5 Canciones 5 Pesos 2005
LP The Dirty Hearts 2006
LP Pigs 2008



The Dirty Hearts was formed in a Santa Fe, NM recording studio when Frankie met Calida during a session. Not long after, the couple packed their bags and set off on a journey leading them to a cramped and sweaty garage in Austin, Texas, where in the summer of 2005, the two began cranking out stripped down and honest rock & pop.

After successfully spreading the word with their first cow punk influenced EP, Five Canciones Five Pesos, the band dropped their eponymous debut full-length in 2006. The album was well received by college radio and the music press, with The Austin Chronicle selecting it as one of their favorites of the year.

Following that release, the band had a monumental 2007. The Dirty Hearts toured the Southwest and West Coast, performing a SXSW showcase and a number of live radio spots. The highlight was a hilarious spot on the And Dick “Shit Show” where The Dirty Hearts performed a song backed by James Brown’s widow, Tommie Rae.

The same year the band shot a video for their song, “New One,” and the song quickly became a favorite with many radio DJ’s. Notably, the song was played for 14 weeks on Andy Langer’s “Next Big Thing” radio show. The video’s satirical take on the Bush administration also garnered attention in the blogging community.

The band later hunkered down and recorded a new album, Pigs, released July 22, 2008. The creative nucleus remained while new talent was brought in on bass and drums. Still at the helm are Frankie Medina and Calida, with newbies Keith McManus and Terry Lord (Sincola) filling in the rhythm section.

Pigs features a more focused version of the band careening through hooks and digging deeper than before. “Record Store” kicks off the album in a full-on assault of what Medina says at its beginning initially reminiscent of a Bo Diddley jam.

The band takes a rest from the fast-paced rock with “Possession Blues,” revealing The Dirty Hearts can slow it on down and bear their dark and vulnerable side while maintaining their punk aesthetic. Not everything went according to plan during the creation of the track though. Things kept glitching out and odd noises filled the room while tracking, according to Medina. The candlelit room and a PJ Harvey soundtrack between tracking most likely was an influence.

The garage-ish rock of The Dirty Hearts carries over to the stage with non-stop high energy. Whether it’s a performance from The Dirty Hearts ending, or Pigs coming to its end, you’ll feel like you just need to smoke a damn cigarette until your next fix.