If you like pink vinyl jackets, ripped acid-washed jeans, oversized sunglasses, and The Who, then Dirtnap Records is for you.
Founded in 2000 as a local record label in Portland, Oregon, the label quickly grew in reputation as a fine provider of garage rock, spazz punk, and New Wave revival bands everywhere.
A selected list of bands on the label include the illustrious names of The Cinch, The Vultures, The Gloryholes, The Epoxies, The Cripples, The Triggers, and The Spits. So you can imagine.
After brief releases from The Selby Tigers and The Kent 3, both of whom didn't fit the Dirtnap mold and therefore were very successful on new labels, Dirtnap struck gold not once, but twice, by signing The Exploding Hearts and Dirt Bike Annie within a week of each other.
The Exploding Hearts' debut LP Guitar Romantic was a major highlight of 2003, capturing the ethos of punk, power pop, and garage with both a retro flair and a new twist. Contagious hooks and honest lyricism earned comparisons to The Clash, The Buzzcocks, and Nick Lowe. Sadly, The Exploding Hearts' career ended almost as soon as it began, when a van crash while on tour left three members of the band dead.
Dirt Bike Annie also fused catchy pop punk of yesteryear with the hooky garage rock revival seen as of late, but their New York City roots injected into them a sense of cool and bravado that the manic energy of other bands only begins to approach. Their Show Us Your Demons LP is one of the seminal releases of the 2003 indie rock year, and typical of Dirtnap releases in general: snotty, saccharine, and sweaty.
Perhaps the only artist on the label worth more than a passing mention is Jeffie Genetic and His Clones, a Canadian New Wave band falling somewhere between The Buggles and The Talking Heads. Their new album Need a Wave is a must-have for fans of the 80s and 3-D glasses. Viva rock!
The official Dirtnap Records website is http://www.dirtnaprecs.com.