The disorientation and confusion you get after driving for hours to somewhere you’ve never been can be overbearing once you arrive. When you get there you don’t know your cardinal directions, where you sit geographically, what is over that hill or around that bend. After a day or so you can usually get a handle on the area and move with confidence. Maybe even begin to feel like you belong there.
The full length debut, Scale, from Seattle’s Dust Moth has a similar affect on me.
Full of an exciting and adventurous chaos that will take you through twists and turns through heavy and crushing with long stretches of beauty and awe. The difference between the listening experience of Scale and the real life travel to destination unknown is you don’t get used to Scale. With travel, the subsequent trips to that same place loses intrigue and curiosity. Scale maintains those elements with the second, fifth, tenth, and however many listens you give it.
Dust Moth is a super-group of sorts and each band member has an impressive musical past (google them and check them out…super rad. One of my personal favorites is These Arms Are Snakes). Dust Moth doesn’t sound like any of their other bands’ work but there were moments throughout Scale that reminded me of These Arms Are Snakes (“Corrections” and “Lift” bring flashes of that sound to my mind).
“Corrections” is one of my favorite tracks to be released in 2016 so far. Rockin’ little number with a killer guitar solo. “Lift” is the first single and it is a banger. People that dig heavy music will gravitate towards this 7:30 epic. The vocals disappear over the last couple of minutes while the band uses repetition in the most trippy sense to give the listener a meditative brain massage.
To stir you from your hypnosis the vocals stay silent for the first few moments of the following song “A Veil In Between”.
Rousing drums build you up and then the vocals reappear. This is another long one and the instruments are definitely showing off here. I find myself swaying in place, eyes closed and losing self while the band jams every time this one plays and when the music stops you hear the sound of crowd noise. Similar to chatter at a bar venue that annoys the hell out of people that are actually there to watch the band play. I like to think Dust Moth made this song to provide a veil of sound in between the nonsense noise of poser ass people at shows. I don’t know, that’s just my take on it haha.
Irene Barber’s vocals are impressive and have range throughout the entire album. I haven’t been this floored by a rock album’s vocals since Bosnian Rainbows. They are really peacocking on “Night Wave”. If True Detective Season 2 was filmed in Seattle the bar and moody lounge singer would have been different. They would have been down in the Cha Cha and Dust Moth would have been playing “Night Wave”. This track gives me chills.
Irene Barber is to be reckoned with and Dust Moth’s sound feels stadium worthy.
Despite a reduction in band members since their debut EP, Dragon Mouth, Scale feels bigger, fuller, and more explosive. Dust Moth’s evolution is exciting and Scale is sure to take them from local supergroup to national sensation. Go buy this album. Go see this band play. Bring a shovel and some towels and clean your own jaw off of the ground. That’s not the venue’s job.