The Smu Reviews

Pop Culture
Music / Art / Pop Culture

Nostalgic Pisshead.


Described as an album about ‘toxic nostalgia and unrealised potential’ Great Expectations is a title that could just as easily be taken as a statement of intent for the listener. Thankfully this is a solid little beast of an album that does not disappoint. 

Dirt Royal, a well loved fixture of the South coast music scene who have supported the likes of Sham 69 and 100 Yard Stare, have a spiky garage punk sound that along with the requisite amount of snottieness and raucous energy also firmly knows its way around a good pop tune. 

Lead single Lose Our Way is a particularly great piece of anthemic punk shoutalong that by any rights should be huge whilst other standout tracks such as Glory Days and Lemsip offer up a punchy combination of vitriol, regret and good old fashioned rock and roll fun.

Lyrically dripping with the bitterness that will be familiar to anyone who has woken up at twenty-two shocked to discover they are not yet Living The Dream, this is the perfect album for anyone who feels battered by life but not yet at the stage where they have given up on being angry.

ARTIST: Dirt Royal
TITLE: Great Expectations
MOOD: Getting ready to start a fight with your former self
TOP TRACKS: Glory Days, Lemsip, Lose Our Way

Junk-shop punk-rock glam-rock discotheque.


A riotous injection of day-glo, bubblegum pop punk right where we need it! 

New single Ink is Sarah Sunday’s third release and it’s packed with the kind of confidence, earworm hooks and grin-inducing fun that makes it feel like she’s been beamed directly from a 1980s episode of TOTP. 

Sarah lists her biggest musical influences as Avril Lavigne, Hey Monday and The Smiths which gives you a fair idea of the pleasing mix of cheeky wit and joyful defiance in her music. But on this track in particular I’d say she’s channeling the spirit of Shampoo and Helen Love topped off with a sunny early 00s EDM edge. 

I absolutely love this song and if you like your rebel sneer glammed up with neon lipstick then I think you will too. But, as the peppily ‘fuck you’ lyric says, ‘if you get mad then that’s your bad’.

ARTIST: Sarah Sunday
MOOD: Peroxide petulant