Based in London, but featuring a fair dinkum Aussie connection in vocalist John Drake, The Dust Coda might just be the next band to brag about. “The Dust Coda? Saw them when they played to one man and a dog down the local pub, mate”. This, their self-titled debut, is a smouldering little cracker of an album. 11 tracks of guitar-driven rock n’ roll that fit neatly into the “FFO Rival Sons, Temperance Movement” category, but (and here’s the money shot coming up), while dipped by the ankles into a vat marked “the good old days”, The Dust Coda don’t just rely on 70’s classic blues rock for inspiration. The mark Chris Cornell and Soundgarden have left on the generation who might have missed the first coming of grunge is very evident. ‘The More It Fades’ might be shorter and more upbeat than most of Soundgarden’s output, but Drake’s vocals owe more than a smidgen to Cornell, and when the band lock into a slamming groove, as Drake wails, “Have no fear, the ghost is in the mirror” over and over, the influence is unmistakeable. ‘All I Got’ has some great vocal moments where the raspy throat of Drake brings images of the great John Fogerty to mind, but it’s the guitars from Adam Mackie that stick out the most. The slithering, brooding ‘Weakness’ is behemoth. The groove from drummer Scott Miller and bassist Tony Ho is incredible, and head banging is requisite.
There is also a massive Zeppelin vibe in places, strangely enough on ‘Rock N’ Roll’, would you believe? At times, the playing is staggering, and you might find find yourself doubting that this is indeed a self-released debut album. Drake’s howls towards the climax of the song are hair-raising, and worthy of every Cornell comparison coming his way. ‘Sweet Love Is Gone’ acts as a signal that side one is finishing, and side two is waiting in the wings. A slow-burning corker that builds into a stunning soulful guitar solo that ends way too quickly! Running close to six minutes in length, and with a gorgeous vocal fade out, this is the stand out track on an album full of them. After the fuzz of ‘Save Me’, and the swinging boogie of ‘When The Tide Comes In’, The Dust Coda slow it down a notch on another Zeppelin inspired moment, ‘Nobody Now’. I can imagine the band stretching out on this one live. It’s perfect for jamming on, as the guitars get pushed way to the front. ‘Down In The Valley’ rattles along at a fair old pace, and will have you checking your facts again to check that this is still a debut album. Finishing on the smouldering ‘Will I Ever See You Again’, the only thing left to do is press repeat.
Available now. For more information on The Dust Coda, check them out on Facebook.
Review: Dave Stott