Dust Storm Warning
|Label:||Acid Cosmonaut Records|
From their chosen name onwards, Italians DSW couldn't be more clear cut in saying 'We do desert / stoner'. The song titles refer to dunes, coyotes and spaceships and what you hear sounds exactly as you're expecting as you read this. All this should come off as some sort of crass retro affectation, and maybe it does occasionally, but they execute it so well that the blast they are having comes across impressively.
The touchstone influences on DSW are glaring, but if you're desperate to know, have fun unscrambling The Roc, Ouzel Roach, Susky and Torments Mange. At their best, such as on 'Outrun' and '666.1.33' (a 2:1 in in Applied Iommism), they pull of charging, dirty stoner anthems as well as any of their peers. It's the type of music that makes me beer thirsty; easy to listen to, not challenging, but heavy enough to keep you interested. The production is impressively deep and arid, which makes for a release you could stick on at any social gathering and few would disapprove.
The instant catchy riff joy is fleshed out with three tracks subtitled 'Instrumental Jam Session' (why they feel they have to warn us of this so literally I'm not sure) . 'Dune' and 'Sherpa' are welcome cosmic diversions that provide a kind of sonic narrative, and the odd bum note doesn't detract from the exploratory spirit. The delay-heavy cyclone of 'Wasteland' subsides to a hushed bass doodle that serves as a tantalising segueway to the album's final cataclysm.
A couple of weak points drag down the latter part of the album a little: 'Monkey Woman' and 'Trippin the Drill' stray a little too far into horrific Wolfmother 'WOMAHN!!!' territory for my liking; the call-out-with-your-balls-out vocals allied to a bluesier sound make for meat-and-potatoes schlock that doesn't carry the energized attack of the earlier tracks. They thankfully end on a high note with 'Requiem', whose sweet melodic nut is cracked with a huge stoner doom lump hammer.
Their definitive moment is certainly still to come, but (promoters take note) there is no doubt that DSW are a safe bet for a storming gig, or for simply being swallowed up by an acquaintance's sofa with a spiral of ZigZag card burning down to your fingertips.
Posted: Mon 13 August 2012