Today’s Cool Albums of the Day (#863 and #864) in the series are Dust, Dust & Hard Attack
(We’re going to do something a little differently and bring you both of these albums on one piece since they were just rereleased together on one Compact Disc.)
Forty-two years ago (wow!), this skinny, longhaired, 12-year-old future metal head (thank you, Steppenwolf & Blue Cheer!) opened his trusty Circus magazine and read a small story about a new band called Dust. I don’t recall any specifics, but I assume the words “hard,” “heavy,” and, quite probably, “power trio” were used to describe this rather surly-looking threesome. Imagine Motörhead in 1971…
Like most, I’m always up for new music. So, off I trudged over a mile to the original Hegewisch Records to buy Dust’s debut album. I distinctly remember the owner Joe (RIP) being totally unfamiliar with Dust and somewhat making fun of me, saying I was probably buying the album just for the cover and would throw the record away. Well, who’s laughing now?
Whether they realize it or not, many music fans are already familiar with the lineup. Most notably, drummer Marc Bell, later to become Marky Ramone! Bell was a madman in Dust. Think Keith Moon or Ginger Baker. Bassist Kenny Aaronson’s resume reads like a Who’s Who, recording and touring with everyone from Stories to Derringer to Bob Dylan to Brian Setzer to New York Dolls! I saw him several times with Derringer in the ‘70s and ran into him a couple years ago when his band was opening for John Hiatt. He was shocked someone mentioned Dust, particularly at a Hiatt show! He remains one of the best bassists I’ve ever seen. Rounding out the trio is Richie Wise (guitar/vocals). While not the greatest singer, he fits perfectly. Along with producer Kenny Kenner, Wise wrote virtually the entire Dust catalog.
The centerpiece of the debut album is the nearly ten-minute experimental opus “From A Dry Camel.” This song has everything- mood, velocity, and a lengthy instrumental break I’d put up against any power trio!
On Hard Attack both the opener “Pull Away/So Many Times” and “Walk In The Soft Rain” are two of Dust’s best efforts. Great alternating mixes of hard rock and ballad. Listen closely to the bass in “So Many Times.” Jack Bruce would be proud!
In general, the epitome of Dust, for me, can be heard in “Learning To Die,” “Love Me Hard,” “Suicide,” and “Chasin’ Ladies,” among others. Relentless and manic, they truly are among the origins of heavy metal. Instrumentals “Ivory” and “Loose Goose” showcased their undeniable musicianship as well.
If I had to compare Dust to anyone, I’d say they were a cleaner, more talented Blue Cheer. Less fuzz, more notes, and quite possibly just as loud!
To my knowledge, there’s been no talk of a reunion tour. Odds are, there’s simply not enough demand. But, if it does happen, I’ll be there, front and center! It’s never too late to relive 1971…
- Pull Away/So Many Times
- Walk In The Soft Rain
- Thusly Spoken
- Learning To Die
- All In All
- I Been Thinkin
- How Many Horses
Dust in its entirety
Hard Attack in its entirety
Here are some Dusty pictures