Too High to Kross

Too High to Kross

The Brooklyn–based Dirty Fences are one of a very few bands playing '70s punk with a classic New York City flavor. Sure, there are tons of modern acts aping The Ramones and The New York Dolls, but Dirty Fences sound like they might have actually shared the stage with those punk pioneers. Their 2013 album Too High to Cross takes an unapologetically retro approach to songwriting, production, and attitude, starting with the opening “Kilsythe,” which somehow sounds like a young Ace Frehley singing for the Funhouse-era Stooges. “All I Want” and “What’s That Strange” display an uncanny talent for writing the kinds of catchy songs that get stuck in your head for days on end. Where other Big Apple bands like The Strokes and Stalkers tap into various vestiges of East Coast punk, Dirty Fences take on the genre without any modern-day anachronisms. Only two of the 11 songs here reach the three-minute mark. At just less than two minutes, “Heaven Is Tonight” is the album’s shortest song, but it’s loaded with more barbed hooks and melodies than anything else.

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