Album Of The Week: Dirt Buyer Dirt Buyer II

In December 2019, I stood in the back of a crowd at Alphaville in Brooklyn anticipating a set from Boston shoegaze group Horse Jumper Of Love. Before them, though, were Dirt Buyer, an emo-folk group I’d never heard of. I was an impatient teenager, anxious to see the band I was there for, not interested in hearing anything else. But Joe Sutkowski — a self-described alien, sometimes convincingly — took the stage, and his weepy pleas against sparse, spectral guitars nearly moved me to tears. The room around me evaporated, and I saw his pink, shoulder-length hair hiding his face. He sang with gutting rawness, his voice fragile and desperate, its quivering theatrics invoking Gerard Way. I was hypnotized by this demanding display of vulnerability; I’d been into emo music for years, yet this performance expressed a specific misery and darkness that made my heart sink.


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