Symbol Six – Dirtyland

08 Aug

Symbol Six
Jailhouse Records

Eric Leach – Vocals
Phil George – Drums
Evan Shanks – Bass
Taz Rudd – Guitar
Tony Fate – Guitar

1. Dirtyland
2. Generation Damnation
3. Viva
4. Madness
5. Creepin
6. 13 Woes
7. Spit It Out
8. Outta My Way
9. Psychosix
10. Nitro
11. Never Gonna Make It

When the history of punk rock is written it won’t be filled with stories of exploration and change. It will be stories of young men sitting around the camp fire saying things like. “Henry ruined Black Flag” and “Thank god my favorite band hasn’t changed or written a new song in thirty years.”

I know what you’re thinking . . . what the fuck does this have to do with Symbol Six?! Well, the answer is everything. When Symbol Six’s Posh Boy EP was released they were that perfect hybrid, sitting on the fence of punk and metal. Four songs and none of them had that hardcore 1-2-3-4 feel. They had some harmony, some style. They did and additional song for the Future Looks Bright comp and then they . . . . sort of . . . . went to sleep.

Then in 2010, they pop back up with Monster 11. It was as if they were using the album to challenge you to a dual, instead of a glove, they slapped you across the face with their album. Most bands would’ve been happy with that accomplishment, both Dog Days and Long Way Home were being played from every basement-dwelling net-radio station from here to Delaware. But nope, the Posh Boy EP was re-released; they released a split with the notorious Fang. And at long last a new full-length album. God damn.

The first time I heard Never Gonna Make It, I knew these net-j guys were going to be pulling their chodes to this one. Epic movie-ending track.

Not a bad song on the album. And unlike the bands I mention at the beginning of the article, Symbol Six, like Kiss, Billy Idol and Bowie, sort of, progress and change a bit with each album. It’s still Symbol Six, but they’ve opened a side door and shown us that there’s something else happening in the house.

Rating: *** three out of three stars.

On to the story . . .

It’s funny how we can justify almost anything we do. Years ago I worked with a girl that I found out later she had stolen a package of blank tapes from the place we worked. I asked her about it and she said, “The manager didn’t pay me for the half hour I worked last week.” Simple as that, instead of talking to HR – steal something. Justified.

I watched an interview with Richard Kuklinski years ago and he genuinely felt he was a good guy. One hundred and fifty to two hundred murders and he still felt like he was a good guy. He justified it all away.

I was having lunch with my friend Dave last week and for some reason as we were talking I had this weird little tally going in the back of my head of various altercations I have been in. For example, we were talking about my wedding and in my head I hear, “Mike, you instigated a full-scale riot at your wedding reception, people ended up in the hospital and jail, remember that?” Fuck.

We change the subject, we start talking about travel and vacations and the voice goes off again, “Mike, remember when you took your wife to Ensenada on your second anniversary and dangled a man off the second story balcony of the restaurant you were eating in?” Shit.

Again the subject changed, we talked about going for coffee and once again the voice goes off, “Mike, remember when you went for coffee with your sister-in-law in 2001 and that guy cut in front of you in Starbucks? Words were exchanged and you had him by the neck and the manager and one of the barista’s had to pull you off?” Dammit.

Through all this crap I still view myself as a good guy, I jokingly call myself Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky. I guess I’ve also justified all the dumb crap I’ve done.



Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today:

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2 Responses to “Symbol Six – Dirtyland”

  1. 1
    Eddie Cook Says:

    Mike~ I streamed this album off that shitty site, Dying Scene, great fuckin’ album. You’re review is on the money. ~Eddie

  2. 2
    Mike E. Says:


    Thanks for writing in. The album is great and yes, Dying Scene blows donkey dick

    Mike Essington

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