The Dirty Clergy formed in Winfield, Alabama, in the heart of Bible Belt country, so they come by their rebellious streak honestly.
Co-founder and guitarist Brian Manasco says "Dirty Clergy" refers to a local preacher who sent out nasty, lie-filled emails about the band and its music.
The Dirty Clergy's catchy choruses, smooth harmonies, and pop hooks recall the youthful exuberance of the 50s and early 60s, when rock 'n' roll was synonymous with rebellion, while the punkish, grungy rhythm guitar, active drumming, and impassioned singing provide an urgent, hard edge.
Their recordings are a diverse mix. Winona (Open Your Eyes) off their 2011 album Revival, has a dreamy feel reminiscent of 60’s psychedelic garage rock, while in Mary, Mary, also from Revival, the influence of Led Zeppelin and southern rock can be detected. Revival’s Here’s to Me is a delightful tune that could be labeled 'alt-country' but, as with most music in that genre, hearkens back to the roots of rock. The title song from the band’s latest release, the EP Shake, is upbeat and poppy—a song that stays in the head. But also included is a folksy, introspective Cocaine, Nevada.
The common denominator of this eclectic approach is simple rock, played with emotion, as well as lyrics that aren’t afraid to tackle social and political issues with an outlook that's decidedly distrustful of government and big business.
In Wall Street, lyricist Manasco supports the Occupy movement and issues a challenge: “Whatever happened to you/Whatever happened to me/There's no longer a middle or in between/It's just the rich getting richer/The poor waits in line/Power to the people, it's about time/Tell me now, or we're about to have it out/Right here in the center of Wall Street.” The writing is sophomoric but earnest.
As The Dirty Clergy continue to refine their sound and songwriting—and as singer Brad White, who flashes signs of developing a distinctively charismatic style, continues to mature—the future looks bright for this bunch of rebels.