Dirtbombs: We Have You Surrounded


We Have You Surrounded, the latest from Detroit's Dirtbombs, is the angry punch line to a joke popular in 1980s Lower Michigan: "Will the last person to leave Detroit please turn out the lights?" Mick Collins and crew navigate an impromptu guided tour through this burned out landscape with exuberance, smarts, and a fierce energy that could light Wayne County if someone hooked them up to a generator. Collins, a veteran of early-'90s garage band the Gories, sometime house music DJ, and lover of vintage soul and early Bee Gees, doesn't care where he finds inspiration for his end-times explorations, so long as it's good and it rocks. So Sparks' "Sherlock Holmes" gets a lovingly straightforward rock makeover, and the martial beat of Dead Moon's "Fire in the Western World" is made tighter and more menacing. The album's conceptual center, "Leopardman at C&A," a set of lyrics comics writer Alan Moore originally intended for Bauhaus, is a snarling glam-tinged Bo Diddley pounder with Lord of the Flies-meets-The Warriors sentiments: "We'll hunt down television sets and kill them for their skins/We'll squeeze the juice from cell phones and we'll smear it on our faces." But it's a Collins original, "I Hear the Sirens," that is the white-hot heart of the program: "I hear the sirens calling out to me/They are saying, 'you will never be free as long as you hear me.'" Still, you have to wonder if he won't miss them just a little the day they finally stop.