Friday, October 31, 2003

Only three more Dustdevils days! After their debut album Rhenyards Grin, the band recorded the Dropping Well EP, then put out a pretty great record called Gutter Light whose cover features one of Michael's paintings. This album is a big step up from Rhenyard's Grin. The production is much crisper (though still lacking bass), the songs are more interesting, and Jaqi is moving towards her signature vocal style. I couldn't pick just two songs, so here are three. First up is Oyster Catcher, which ends the album. I love the way the guitars head for the stars as the track comes to a close. Second song Whim of Iron is strange and inspired. It starts with an atonal soft guitar part, then a surprising clang, then the guitar part comes back, but now it's huge. Later it returns again as a chorus of sorts. The drumming on this song, which switches meters/tempos a lot, is pretty cool. It's a shame the album doesn't have more bass (you might want to adjust the bass on your stereo). Finally, Losing Ground is a pretty neat almost-instrumental that ends side one. I like the part about 3/4 of the way through when the bassy sound kicks in in wide stereo and ta-da, suddenly there's a melody of sorts. Trivia note: I tried so hard to remaster/reissue this album on CD, but the master tapes were just beyond recovery. But, I actually own the rights. That's right! I own an actual record by one of my favorite bands (or at least until someone with a good lawyer comes along to challenge my contract with Michael)!

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