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The Dirty Heads are a band with the music sound consisting of rock, reggae, and hip-hop from Southern California. Their debut album, Any Port In A Storm, was released on September 23, 2008, by Executive Music Group (Fontana/Universal).

In 1996, the band was originally founded by Jared Watson and fellow vocalist/guitarist Dustin “Duddy” Bushnell in the Orange County, CAmarker community of Huntington Beachmarker, having a friendship based on music, as well as surfing and skating, living the Southern California lifestyle. They first met at a party in their freshman year of high school. Watson ran across a quick rap tape that Bushnell recorded, and then became inspired to collaborate with him on ideas. Bushnell was already in a punk band, though Watson never sang live, wrote a song, or was ever in a band, but he decided to give this a try anyway. Later, percussionist Jon Olazabal and drummer Matt Ochoa were added as well, completing the band's sound. The Dirty Heads have influences of Bob Marley, 311, Sublime, and The beastie Boys. Before being discovered, the band spent many nights in a sound proof garage with a four-track recorder, and showcased around their city. They got their name from a time when they were stealing alcohol from a store and someone shouting at them "Come here you little dirty heads!". With all their members gathered, and some solid material, the band started taking their craft seriously. Rob Cavallo (A record producer known for signing popular artists such as Green Day and My Chemical Romance) originally signed the band to Warner Bros., but artistic differences led them to leave the label, though they did manage to take their master recordings, which comprise the bulk of Any Port in a Storm, with them.

The band connected with producers Steve Fox and Stan Frazier (The same people who produced Sugar Ray and Ashlee Simpson) to produce their debut album. Any Port In A Storm features one of the last recorded performances from legendary Beatles collaborator Billy Preston, as well as appearnaces by Josh Freese (Session drummer for Nine Inch Nails and Korn), percussionist Alex Acuna, Jamaican dancehall legend Tippa Ire and Indie 103.1 reggae host Native Wayne, which you can notice in "Stand Tall" and "Neighborhood". The album was mixed by Beastie Boys mixmeister Mario C. Their proper rhythm section while there are live comes from their official member, Drummer Matt Ochoa and sideman Siggy Sjoursen on bass.

The Dirty Heads have toured the U.S. multiple times with bands such as 311, Pepper, Kottonmouth Kings and Matisyahu. The band has also been part of marketing campaigns for Etnies Jeans and Vestal Watches.

The Dirty Heads were among the first bands featured on YouTube's Raw Session. The set included a cover of Coldplay's "Viva La Vida." Watch Video


Most responses to the debut of the Dirty heads is mostly positive, occasionally negative. Many people have given this band good feedback after being seen live, including the popular performance in the RAW session video on Youtube. Though, during live performances, people have criticized the bassist (From their background musicians) for either being too quiet, or not doing enough in the band. In almost every review, they always described the music with an acoustic reggae and hip hop combination. PopWreckoning gave their first album a good review, describing it as "...a relaxing soundtrack with songs that constantly keep you near contentment". Also suggesting that anyone who listens to Sublime and 311 should also purchase the album, and even complementing their cover of "Viva la Vida" by Coldplay. The editorial review has also praised this album, talking about how the album represents a lifestyle of "that is felt and adopted by fans of Reggae, Ska and Hip Hop. It's about good times, summer, fun with your friends and generally the rally cry of youth, which is all about postponing the inevitable responsibilities of adulthood for one more party". Many fans and critics have also praised this album for the wide amount of influences and how the mix of those artists is good. As of negative reviews, Kevin Liedel from MuzikReviews gave the album only two stars out of five. One thing said was that there wasn't any thing different in the album and that it's just a "...vague representation of a positive trend". He also claims that the feeling of the music has taken too much from popular ska/reggae bands, mainly Sublime and 311, stating "When not sounding like the aforementioned Sublime (“Easy,” among others), the band comes across like the soft side of 311 (“Knows That I.”) The result of such turns is an eclectic but obvious nature, and by the time “Everything I’m Looking For” concludes Any Port in a Storm, listeners will be able to write the script themselves. To truly be pioneers in a still-young musical genre, the Dirty Heads will have to be more daring and more original on future efforts".

Notable features

External links

  • - Official Website
  • - Official MySpace
  • - Record Label Profile


  • - Raw Session "Viva La Vida" cover
  • - Etnies Spotlight
  • - Bio

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