Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Dirty Pearls at the Mercury Lounge

About five years ago in New York, Tommy London decided he wanted to front a rock band that played the music he loved – the 1970s-style hard rock that attracts tightly clad women to the edge of the stage. He located guitarist Tommy Mokas and drummer Marty E., then guitarist Sunny Climbs and bassist Doug Wright. The Dirty Pearls began at Arlene’s Grocery and in just a few years, the growing fan-base has filled the band’s headlining gigs at the Bowery Ballroom four times. The band members’ old friend, Lady Gaga, who was a struggling artist playing the Lower East Side club circuit at the time the Dirty Pearls was getting started, mentioned the band in her song "Heavy Metal Lover." The band has released one full-length album, Whether You Like It Or Not.

At the Mercury Lounge tonight, the Dirty Pearls proved that despite the current indie inundation, straight-up no-chaser rock and roll will never die. Relatively new but classic rock-sounding, the band delivered a 60-minute set with the swagger and bravado of early Kiss, the New York Dolls, the Heartbreakers, the Rolling Stones, Billy Idol and Guns ‘n Roses. The songs delivered what they promised, with sharp hooks, anthem-like melodies and lyrics about sex, drugs and rock and roll. Yet, although known for the dirtiest-sounding rock in New York, the band introduced a few new softer and more polished songs that will clean up the band’s image a bit. Tonight’s performance gave hope that the Dirty Pearls will be among the torch bearers that will preserve the legacy of New York rock and roll.