Friday, August 17, 2012

Heat Dust - S/T (2011)

Well, it's about 100 degrees in Portland today. We don't really know what to do with extreme weather, except drink, which is one thing Portlanders do best. A few years back a heat wave brought 100+ degree weather for a whole week and I must've seen at least 5 drunken fights as I drove around the city. Known for milder summers, Portland was void of air conditioners by the third day of that week, just as during the "Snowpocalypse" of 2008, when automotive stores ran out of chains and everyone had to use gardening shovels to clear their sidewalks and streets. If you take these examples, along with having more strip clubs per capita than any other US city, Portland is invariably the city caught with it's pants down.

But I digress…

Given we're in the middle of summer and it's so hot, it seems only fitting to write about New Orleans band, Heat Dust. Reminiscent of 90's indie rock like Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh, Heat Dust play their songs through a thicket of distortion and feedback. In that respect, they shows hues of shoegaze and grunge… even on the slower songs, the crunch remains. I really enjoy their songwriting and vocal delivery, which is melodic and laid-back despite the urgency of the faster songs.

Also want to point out their excellent lyrics. In my stints of songwriting, I always found words to be the toughest part. The kinds of lyrics Heat Dust write are poetic. "Saved by a woman's arms, we plummeted and flew. A trail of blue velvet was left behind in figure 8's." There's something so triumphant about those words, that image. Much of the other lyrical content is darker, a standout line being, "You'll serve a purpose when wild flowers grow from your lifeless bones. Just give up."

Really good stuff, and I don't think it's all a 90's nostalgia thing, though that's undoubtedly a part of it. I'm going to be keeping an eager eye on this band.

Heat Dust - S/T

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