The Real Nasty, who started off as a rock and country band, now blend blues, funk and jam elements. The trio is made up of Ryan Lukas, the founder, songwriter, vocalist and bassist, Jacob Groopman on guitar and backing vocals and Matthew “Smitty” Smith on drums and additional percussion. The hard-working young Californians got together in 2009 and are now bringing music fans their third release, Dirty Dollars, a 10-track body of work that comes complete with lyrics to every song and a mini foldout poster of comical cartoon artwork.
The title-track is packed with every genre they offer. It’s easy to listen to and gives a foot-tapping groove that will have you up on the dance floor in a bar in no time. Not to mention the singer’s got a clear and smooth voice that is easy to understand, even if you don’t know the lyrics.
Meanwhile, “Can’t Stand It” takes on new genres that include ska, reggae and surf-rock. Quick beats and breaks help build the song towards the climax when the group breaks into an experimental jam session that lasts for a minute before it loops back in to the intro.
No wonder “Untitled Blues” is untitled, there’s so much going on with layers of funky bass lines, electric guitar leads, hand-slapping congas and a vibrato harmonica. Before you know it, they’re wrapping up with “Set Free,” an aggressive finale that begins with slide guitar and solid drums and ends with in-your-face, wailing vocals.
There ain’t nothin’ nasty about The Real Nasty other than their playing. Their music is stripped down and to the point, complimenting their raw and infectious hooks.