Dimes – Lick The Boot EP Review


We all know the saying: so much to do, so little time. For independent music reviewers, this is our daily motto at Vanadian Avenue. Despite the never-ending backlog of music to review, we always aim to set a bit of time aside to cover projects that are the “alternative of the alternative music scene”, for the lack of a better word. From time to time, we find a truly unique song or an EP in our mailbox that is radically different from the popular trends of the indie genre. In the last couple weeks, we receive three such projects. One was Skuund which we reviewed earlier this week, the other one will appear on Indieterria next week and today we are going to look at Dimes – Birmingham’s finest and loudest sons to date.

Bio: Dimes are a Birmingham band birthed in the mid moons of 2021. With their hash-it-out style approach, they provide distorted sludge with thumping basslines. Backed by endless groove on the skins and vicious vocals, these lads will give you a run for your coin. No thrills, no gimmicks, just some good old-dimed rock n roll.

Lick The Boot Artwork

Lick The Boot EP cover

Dimes are a new quartet that was formed in Birmingham last year. They have Tom on vocals, Sam on guitar, another Tom on bass and Simon on drums. Their debut 3-track EP entitled “Lick The Boot” was released on 22nd of April and was recorded at the Oxygen Rooms in Hockley. It was produced by Joe and Bobby at Grand Union Recordings. So far, it’s pretty standard and straightforward. The band has been playing shows around Digbeth (Birmingham’s equivalent of Manchester’s Northern Quarter) and they receive good reviews for their sets if you care to check online. What’s so special about them you may ask? Well, I’d risk saying that everything about those four lads is special. Let me explain why.

Appearances are misleading and if something looks easy and effortless, it is usually the other way around. On the surface, Dimes sound like a traditional punk rock/post punk outfit with stereotypical three cords and shouty vocals. The EP opens up with “State Run Press” – fast, angry and politically sensitive track that criticizes the billionaires and their media, shoving the current government’s propaganda down the society’s throats. The Fall and Buzzcocks would be really proud to have penned this song. It has everything that a classic punk release should have – easily recognizable melody, well defined bass/drums rhythm and half spoken/half shouted lyrics. The self-directed video which shows the band walking around Birmingham streets released in late February only strengthens the perception and their punk rock ethos. Underneath the gritty sonic layer, there is a group of musicians who know exactly how to compose and how to handle their instruments. The guitar solo at 2 minutes 30 second mark is of math rock quality!

dimes flapper band

Dimes live at the legendary Birmingham venue, The Flapper

The second song on the EP, “Violent Undertones” reveals completely different side to Dimes. It is still punk rock, but the band is balancing on the heavier end of the genre. It has more American sound to it – it is no longer British punk rock a la The Clash or The Sex Pistols. We are talking the GBGB’s inspired tones with New York Dolls, Television and The Ramones in the front seat. There is also a massive dosage of hardcore and sludge rock in, something that became very dominant on the New York scene in the late 80’s and early 90’s – I’m thinking of Pist.On, early Biohazard, Pro-Pain, Life or Agony. Tempo changes, harmonized choruses, very heavy riffs – I would like to see it being played live, I’m sure it is massively popular with the mosh pit maniacs.

“Coming Down,” the last track, is by far my favourite. The heaviest of all three songs on the EP, it is also the longest at 4 minutes and 15 seconds. It starts with Crowbar/Down like guitars and thundering drums. And it changes like a chameleon – a bit of metal, rap, hardcore, grind and classic Black Sabbath-esque passage in the middle. I haven’t heard anybody playing like this in ages and I’m so glad they emailed us as writing this review gave me a great pleasure.

Dimes Victoria 18.02.22 (12 of 104)

Dimes live at The Victoria in Birmingham

Please follow Dimes on social media at:

Listen to “Lick The Boot” EP on Soundcloud:

Rita Dabrowicz

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