Album Review: ‘Dirt Mall’ – Aerial Salad

Perhaps Manchester punk trio Aerial Salad didn’t have the greatest start to their career with what the band refer to as ‘the worst festival set of all time’ at the legendary punk staple The FEST in Gainesville, Florida but they didn’t let that stop them. In the years following their traumatic ‘what more could possibly go wrong’ set that could have potentially split any other band up, Aerial Salad have just gotten more resilient, after all, isn’t that what punk is all about?

‘Dirt Mall’ is the band’s second record, nine songs of anthemic, driving punk rock that roars with joyful disgust at the world around them. Frontman and guitarist Jamie Munro admits, “It captures everything I’ve seen working as a temp in offices and generally being in my twenties trying to work myself and the world out. With some pop songs thrown in for fun.” 

The record opens with anthemic ‘Virtue’, a common theme of the album is catchy gang-like vocal choruses, making it hard not to imagine a sweaty dive bar packed full with fans singing along. First single ‘Romance?’ follows, simple but effective punk, the band don’t overthink or overproduce, especially because there is no need to. 

Personal favourite, ‘Fever Dream’ is an old-school Green Day fan’s dream, and maybe the more you think about that, the more you’ll hear Munro’s voice morph into Armstrong’s, and the more you’ll wish Green Day were taking notes from Aerial Salad. ‘State O’Yer’ is another stand out song on the record, with lyrics like “give it up son, we don’t need you anymore” that just beg to be screamed back.

Title track ‘Dirt Mall’ is the quintessential Aerial Salad song, does exactly what is says on the tin. Loud and catchy, not even three minutes worth of pure punk rock goodness, leaving you wishing it would never come to an end. The album closes with ‘Stressed’, leaving the listener eagerly wanting more.

‘Dirt Mall’ is the soundtrack for the young adults finding their way in the world, for locking your bedroom door after a bad day at the 9-5 you hate, for late night drives with your friends, head-banging Wayne’s World style.

The album is available for pre-order here:

Aerial Salad were due to play some of these new tunes live on tour in the UK this April with Californian punks Decent Criminal, however due to COVID-19, the dates have been rescheduled, for updates on the tour follow the band’s Facebook page.

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