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  • review by Jacob Zlomke | photo by Molly Misek

    You don’t have to expect grace from a band who have made their name on intense, loud live performances and vocal work that’s better called rhythmic shouting than singing.

    But that’s exactly what Dirty Talker delivered during their Saturday night set at Duffy’s. It began right away, with vocalist/bassist Justin Kohmetscher asking the audience who their favorite band had been so far. Overwhelmingly, the response was Dirty Talker, who had only yet played one song.

    “All I hear is Dirty Talker,” he said. “Don’t forget about our friends Halfwit across the street.” Halfwit’s set at the Bourbon was scheduled to begin shortly after.

    But more than kind words for fellow scene-mates, Dirty Talker’s grace manifests in their music. Their songs pulse acutely, without ever really taking their foot off the gas. Yet the three instruments, plus three vocalists, manage to dance with each other like avant-garde ballet, with refined care and purpose disguised as discordant basement punk. Each note on the guitar, each uttered syllable and banged drum gets its say, its moment to prove its worth.

    Dirty Talker is nothing if not deliberate, elegant. It’s clear in their sonic space. Unison is reserved for emphasis. The melody is passed to Adam Anderson’s guitar only when prudent.

    The members of Dirty Talker probably have a lot of fun playing their music, otherwise, you hope, they wouldn’t be. But at Duffy’s on Saturday, it’s hard to picture the trio ever acting frivolously with their art, and that’s to the Lincoln community’s benefit.
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