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Dirty on Purpose: A Band That Died Too Soon

Updated on June 26, 2010

Dirty on Purpose was a short-lived indie band that maybe should have had a longer life span. The four-piece band from Brooklyn formed in 2002 but didn’t release their first EP together until 2005. The EP was well-received and was followed up with a full-length album that did really well in the indie pop rock scene. Fans of older bands like My Bloody Valentine found inspiration in the new work done by this emerging band. Unfortunately, their success was brief and the band decided to split up not longer after their rise in the musical scene.

Hallelujah Sirens Review

The refrain of the chorus on Dirty on Purpose’s song Lake Effect includes the lines, “better to back up your threats than stay, better to go while the goin’s okay”. While these lines refer to personal emotional experiences within the context of the song, they can also be applied directly to the growth the band experienced when this new album was released. A hallmark of up-and-coming bands is their constant threat to make a splash in the music scene. They talk about wanting to make living music their lives. They threaten to ride the wave of musical success to its crest. Who knows if the individuals who make up Dirty on Purpose ever let that be the refrain of their own lives, but they’ve certainly lived up to the threat. They aren’t staying in the relatively small world of their Brooklyn home; instead, they know that the goin’s okay right now and they are goin’ places with their music.

Their 2006 full-length release titled Hallelujah Sirens was a follow-up to their EP, Sleep Late for a Better Tomorrow which received positive reviews from across the musical board. Hallelujah Sirens did not disappoint the fans of Sleep Late for a Better Tomorrow. It expanded upon the talent first laid out in the EP, broadening the horizons of the band’s sound and offering a polished, developed album full of tracks which were obviously devoutly worked on by the dedicated group.

One of the strongest qualities that the band managed to maintain despite growth in the music industry was a positive attitude which is clearly conveyed through their music. Their sound is one which is frequently referred to as dreamy, and their lyrics have hints of what could be misconstrued as melancholy, but the overall tone of the album is one which is upbeat. Musically, their songs range from slow tunes that linger like a goodbye kiss to more pop-infused sounds which make you want to dance all night long. Lyrically, they offer a matter-of-fact look in to a personal experience of the world.

Perhaps the song that best sums up the growth of the band is Light Pollution . It relates the need to leave one’s town because of the stagnation that can occur in any long-term environment. But it relates it in such a matter of fact way that you don’t feel a sense of sadness while listening to the song. Instead, you find yourself nodding along, thinking, “yes, sometimes it’s just time to leave a place and that’s okay”. And it’s certainly okay to leave for awhile if the reason behind a move is that you’re goin’ places. This was certainly the case since Hallelujah Sirens ended up being nominated for Best Indie Rock Album of the year at the 2007 PLUG Independent Music Awards.

2008: A Busy Year

The growth of the band was strong but short-lived. In 2008, Dirty on Purpose released two different EPs. First, they released a standard EP called Like Bees. This EP was well-received with the biggest impact made from the fact that they featured stunning female guest vocalists on some of their seconds. Shortly thereafter, the band released a digital-only EP called Dead Volcanoes. This was released for free.

Unfortunately, however, the end of the year brought news that the band’s time together had come to an end. The four members of Dirty on Purpose decided to go their separate ways in December 2008. They did not cite a reason. You can still hear some old songs on their MySpace page but it’s no longer updated and merely says “thanks for all the memz” by way of description.

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