Amor or Armor

Amor or Armor

Dayton’s Dirty Socialites Plan Debut Album Release

By Matt Clevenger

Angie Abnett, Derek "D.D." Gullett and Gretta Smak are the members of Dirty Socialites

Local indie/alternative rockers the Dirty Socialites are off to a good start in 2011, with their debut album “Amor or Armor” set for release early this year and a series of upcoming shows planned throughout January and February.

“We’re just putting the finishing touches on our album,” guitarist/vocalist Gretta Smak explained recently. “We’re going to release it on vinyl. We’re going to get it pressed here in the next couple of weeks and we’re aiming probably for March to have a record release for it.”

Known for their catchy, Sonic Youth meets Queens of the Stone Age-style garage rock, the band is also planning a series of three upcoming appearances at Blind Bob’s Tavern in Dayton, starting with a show on Friday, Jan. 14 featuring My Latex Brain and the Columbus-based group Lollipop Factory. “Lollipop Factory, they’re really good friends of ours,” Smak said. “They’re great. They’re a two-piece and they literally have an RV with their cats in it and they drive around touring all the time.”

“My Latex Brain are also really good friends of ours,” she added. “They’re playing that show as well. We also have two other shows that are both at Blind Bob’s; Jan. 29 we’re doing a benefit show for cervical cancer awareness and we also have another show there coming up on Feb. 11.”

Opening acts for the benefit show are still to be announced, but proceeds from the event will go to help fund cancer research and awareness projects. “It’s still up in the air,” Smak said. “But all the money will be donated to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition.”

Formed in early 2010, the Dirty Socialites may seem like a relatively new band, but the group’s members have all been involved in the local indie/alternative rock scene for years. The trio features Smak, who also played in the groups Accidently On Purpose, Invisible Rays and the Muzzies, on guitar and vocals, with local veterans Angie Abnett on drums and Derek “D.D.” Gullett on bass and vocals.

“We’re all from Dayton,” Smak said. “We’ve been playing around here for quite a long time now … Derek plays in the Professors and he also plays in the Whathaveya. We played together in Accidently on Purpose for a few years.”

“We’ve all been friends for a long time,” she added. “I’ve known Angie probably about 10 years now. When we needed a drummer, we decided to call her up and it made a really good fit.”

Smak and Gullett collaborate to write most of the group’s material, drawing from a wide range of musical influences to create their raw, hook-heavy garage rock anthems. “It’s hard to really put a label on it,” Smak said of the band’s unique sound. “It might be something different for everybody. Indie rock is kind of too generic a label to put on our music … it’s just kind of an artwork in progress, really.”

“We have a pretty wide range of things that we all listen too,” she explained. “Derek listens to a lot of Queens of the Stone Age. We’ve both been listening to a bunch of old Pixies records, and old 90s bands like the Screaming Trees. We’ve been getting into all that stuff we used to listen to a long time ago and kind of listening to it with a fresh perspective now.”

“I really like Sonic Youth,” she said. “Another band I’ve been listening to a lot lately is the Wipers. They were a band from the 80s that we kind of got told we sounded similar to. So I decided to check it out and I just absolutely love it.”

Channeling these classic low-fi influences, the band chose a D-I-Y approach to record their upcoming debut album “Amor Or Armor.” “It’s all us,” Smak said. “We recorded it in our basement … nowadays, with the way music sales go, you almost have to do everything yourself. We believe in what we’re doing so much that we’re willing to put forth the effort and cost to do everything ourselves.”

The album will be released this spring and Smak said the band already has plans for some extensive touring later this year. “During the spring, summer and fall we really try to go out as many weekends as we can,” she said. “We go down to Lexington, Louisville and Indianapolis, Columbus and sometimes we’ll go to Cleveland or Erie, Pa., so we’re trying to spread out. Hopefully, this year we can hit places like Chicago and Detroit, cities we’ve never really hit before.”

The Dirty Socialites will appear Friday, Jan. 14 at Blind Bob’s Tavern in Dayton with Lollipop Factory and My Latex Brain. Admission is $5, show starts at 10 p.m. More information and future show dates can be found online at  HYPERLINK “http://www.myspcae.com/blindbobs” www.myspcae.com/blindbobs or  HYPERLINK “http://www.myspace.com/dirtysocialites” www.myspace.com/dirtysocialites.

Reach DCP freelance writer Matt Clevenger at contactus@daytoncitypaper.com.


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