DiNola, “Up High” (Saustex)

reviews-dinolaYou can’t say too much about a disc whose best song is called “Shut Up,” and DiNola are the type of band that you’d rather just play really loud. Led by the husband-wife team of Sue (vocals) and Jimmy (drums) Ford—whose collective ties to local music go back a good few decades—they’re a worthy addition to the city’s under-the-radar circuit of punk/garage/rock ’n’ roll bands. The standout of their previous self-titled CD, “I Wanna Die in New Orleans,” was a can’t-miss anthem by virtue of its title and sentiments; the whole disc was suitably raw and gritty.

With this five-song follow up, DiNola get more serious about having fun. Eagles of Death Metal guitarist Dave Catching returns as producer and applies a bit more polish this time, which usually means pushing Sue’s vocals upfront and underlining the fact that they can write songs (and borrow a worthy one, namely “I Put a Spell on You”). The title track is even melodic enough to qualify as radio-friendly, with a surprise bridge that comes along toward the track’s end. There’s still plenty of punk appeal here, courtesy of Eric Laws’ riff-slinging and Edward Payne’s fuzz bass, and Sue tells the real-life story of a dangerous beauty on “Apocalipstick.” And then there’s the snotty shout-along chorus of “Shut Up,” which I‘m now gonna do and turn this up a little more.