TITLE: Hard Attack / Dust
YEAR RELEASED: 1972 / 1971
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Stone Woman
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Suicide shows up on hard rock playlists.
LINEUP: Richie Wise, Kenny Aaronson, Mark Bell
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Long lost power trio’s two albums are rereleased 40+ years after the fact and gather interest as proto-metal influencers.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Dust probably wasn’t going to make it. The label they were on (Kama Sutra) was more of a pop record company. Their sound (heavy but with some acoustic flourishes, country influences and strings on a few numbers) was ahead and behind the times – too early for metal and too late for heavy psychedelic rock. They also were quite minimalist despite the underpinning of acoustic guitar and said strings on a few cuts.
Listening to these two records now (somehow they decided to put their second record first on the collection) you get the sense that Dust had an idea where they wanted to go, but no one knew what to do with them. They were even more bare-bones than Black Sabbath at times, with Kenny Aaronson’s bass and Mark Bell’s drums holding court while Richie Wise riffed and soloed. Wise’s lyrics also seemed a bit dark (especially in “Suicide”, which seems to out-do “DOA” by Bloodrock in the macabre) though Aaronson wrote “Learning to Die”, which was also pretty damn dark too.
The choice of putting album two ahead of album one seems to make one think Dust went through a regression. It was the opposite – they tried more stuff on record two instead of full-on power trio noise.
Dust broke up after their second album with Wise wanted to go into production work, leaving an uncertain future behind him. Forty years later, you can hear the dots connecting between Blue Cheer, Sabbath, Deep Purple, and then to Dust, and beyond…
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Wise produced the early Kiss albums. Bell became Marky Ramone. You know him. Aaronson became a session bassist / fill in / supergroup member with a great reputation.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. These two albums in one CD is it. You can’t really find live film of Dust out there.
GRADE: B+: This shows that even records that are seemingly cast aside by record companies and critics can have their moments in the sun.