Motortramp

Dirty Livin'

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Motortramp has to be given credit for its bursting cover of Cheap Trick's "Dream Police." Yes, covering such an iconic anthem can be a quick way to curry favor. But covering such a song also demands finely tuned knowledge, as everyone's heard the original a million times on a thousand different classic rock radio stations. The Tramp takes it on with glee and fervor, launching in and out of choruses complete with the famous tinkling synthesizer backdrop, and handling those weird Rick Nielson breakdowns with guitar-wankery aplomb. The Binghamton, New York-based band also drops a clutch of rousing originals on Dirty Livin', its self-released debut. "Stop," "That Girl," "Rock Away," and standout "Motorin'" all reference hook-heavy, motor-driven metal, from Queensr├┐che to Ratt and the grittier side of L.A. Guns (check out the strutting "Dirty Mercedes"). It should be noted that Motortramp isn't a nostalgia act. These are strong, well-crafted songs with an ear for what made those earlier bands great -- a thick bottom end, charismatic vocals, and guitar solos piled higher than 20 Marshall stacks. It's always a summertime Saturday where Motortramp lives.

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