I have noticed recently that a lot of bands have gone retro. I am not complaining, in fact I am relieved. There have been too many artists that have tried, failed and have floated around calling themselves rock bands. Many are considered pop, pop-punk, alternative, whatever you call it, and it is getting a bit old. Music from the 1960's has been a favourite of mine because it is timeless and draws from every genre. Luckily this trendy fuzz-rock, surfer-dance music has made a comeback and for that I am already giving Dirty Beaches' Badlands high praise.

Surfer Blood and Wavves come to mind for using their beach-inspired monikers to give fans a hint of what type of sound they represent and Dirty Beaches is yet another contender. I have found this eight song album to be an indulging treat. Aside from having a juxtaposed introduction with 'Speedway King', the rest of the album flows pretty nicely. As I made my way through half of the record, delightfully passing through 'Horses' and 'Sweet 17', titles that are short but sweet, track four 'A Hundred Highways' set in a distinct tone and memory within this album and for the listener, a lasting impression. Up until this point Alex Hungtai's voice has possessed Elvis Presley's iconic bass and yelps. I thought this album was strictly a 1960's tribute but the first couple of tracks are beach party music at the most. All you can do is nod your head, twist your hips and do the jerk. I guess you can't really pin-point what type of genre Dirty Beaches is going for but they surely will take you back in time. I loved the doo-wop inspired introductions and drum beats. I instantly thought of Little Peggy March's 'I Will Follow Him.'

Alex Hungtai's vocals are hazy and sexy. The lyrics aren't as important, though they provide quite a romantic aesthetic. 'True Blue' is the heart-breaker of the album. This song requires slow-dancing in a shady, dark club. The echoing "ah-ha's" are perfect. The follow-up 'Lord Knows Best' is yet another love song with lyrics "I don't give a damn about anyone but you" The closing of the album ties right back to the beginning. 'Black Nylon' and 'Hotel' still seem out of place but they are not wasted. They are dreary bits but decent instrumental tracks. This is great new music; contemporaries like Smith Westerns better watch out because Dirty Beaches have their game down too.1960s infused with a little 1980s, Jesus & Mary Chain comes to mind. I have to admit that Badlands is the kind of music that I could dance all night to.