Washington is just one of those states that consistently churns out interesting and forward-thinking musical acts, there’s no denying that fact. So when a band comprised of musicians involved in some of that scene’s more unique acts, people tend to pay attention. Enter Dust Moth – an eclectic rock outfit consisting of former and current members of psychedelic alt rock outfit XVIII Eyes, post-hardcore act These Arms Are Snakes and apocalyptic sludge metallers Giza. The result of this gathering of musical minds is a dense and enthralling sound that runs the gamut of post-rock, alternative, post-hardcore and many more, but is never pigeonholed into one genre or another. After a split release with Aeges in 2013, and a well-received EP titled Dragon Mouth in 2014, the Seattle rockers are poised to release their long-overdue debut full-length. With Scale, Dust Moth weave a myriad of sounds and textures into a colorful, melodious and sonically crushing release.
The music on Scale is not a complete far-cry from what was presented on Dragon Mouth. The 45-minute record is sounds like a genuinely natural progression from that EP, with the band’s core sound now more polished, refined and pushed to its limits. “Space Legs”‘s dreamy soundscapes opens up the record gracefully and sets the mood and tone nicely. A muscular rhythm section unleashes pounding percussion and subtly complex bass lines, while expressive guitars conjure ethereal melodies and swirling walls of shoegaze adjacent sound. Vocalist Irene Barber’s soothing, wavering croons tie everything together in a nice, oneiric package. Scale is a very sonically consistent record and “Space Legs” is very telling of what the band can do. However, Dust Moth‘s sound is open and exploratory enough for experimentation and surprises to happen.
Songs like “Corrections” and “Lift” feature a gargantuan distorted crunch in contrast to the record’s mostly levitating atmosphere. “Corrections” churns out this massive, lurching and writhing effect-drenched guitar riff that marches hand-in-hand with an equally bestial, yet catchy bass line. The song cycles between these psychedelic behemoth verses and stampeding chorus full of furious chord progressions and propulsive drumming. The nearly eight-minute “Lift” features a lengthy hypnotic procession of buzzing, bellowing sludge riffs that are draped in transcendental synth-generated atmospheres. The song tends to become a bit too repetitive toward the end, but is nonetheless a beast of a tune. Following the somber crawl of “Lift” is the album’s other lengthy composition, the seven-minute “A Veil in Between”. The song slowly builds from spacious atmospheres and melodic guitar riffs, to an explosive climax of beautifully layered instrumentation and cloudy, moody soundscapes. Other standout moments like “Up Into Blackness” and “The Shape of Clouds” showcase the band doing what they do best; creating a collision of guitar virtuosity, shoegaze aesthetic and electronic playfulness.
Scale takes everything that made Dragon Mouth an eye-catching release and expands upon them tenfold. The thunderous rhythm section, the shape-shifting guitars, the serene atmospheres and the entrancing vocal work come together damn near perfectly on this release. These multifaceted tunes are the perfect remedy for those sick of stale, unimaginative rock music. Fans of the band’s pedigree, or just eclectic alternative, will be thoroughly impressed with this released.
Release Date: July 22, 2016
Label: The Mylene Sheath
Favorite Tracks: “Corrections”, “Lift”, “Up Into Blackness”, “Shelf Life” and “Essex”
For Fans of: Deftones, These Arms Are Snakes, XVIII Eyes and Marriages