Fante’s Dust, their name liberally taken from a combination of the Los Angeles author John Fante’s name and his most famous book “Ask the Dust”, are a noise rock band working out of Germany.
Their EP “Seconds” is a tightly packed little slab of noise
sounding like a combination of a modernized version of late era Black Flag and any band who ever recorded for the Am Rep label in the 90’s. The Ep is brutal and wry in nature and sonically complex in tone. Guitar, bass, drums and vocals synced up in a tight delivery.
The vocals are equal part cheeky and dead serious, as if Mike Muir joined up with Gorilla Biscuits or Murphy’s Law, who then decided to release the result on Am Rep. From wry wit to outright anger there’s not so much vocal range as much as range of emotion. Falling into spoken word then leaping out into an anguished howl this singer knows how to weave, dodge, and then cut across the mix. As good as the tone and feel of this record is it could almost have fallen into the mire of generic hardcore if not for the vocals. Witness the vocal acrobatics of “Get Closer.”
The bass when clean sounds very clear and punchy. When distorted it cuts thru everything with a distinct growl. Whatever distortion box he’s using it has to be unique, as I’ve never heard anything like it to this day and I’ve played with a lot of stomp box distortion pedals on bass in my 47 years. The closest I can think of in tone is a EH Big Muff, but it sounds modded to punch up the lower mids.
As a bassist myself who sometimes desperately wants to be a guitarist, I really like this guitar player. He gives a lot of space for low end to fill up and only doubles the bass when ultimately necessary to the song. Angular, squelching, and yet full. Check out “Memories of You” and “Countdown to Solitude” to understand what I mean.
The drummer is more than a metronome in this mix. Again in “Get Closer” check out the stick work this guy is doing under the vocals. So tasteful and unique. And then when the pummeling comes it’s served up with a drubbing so satisfying you’ll beg for more. Also check out the clock work like timing on “Careless”.
Over all the record is consistent. Mixed and mastered well, it’s not unnecessarily harsh on the ears nor overly loud or compressed. Well balanced, you can hear everything distinctly while still having the four-dudes-in-a-room feel. Buy this thing so they can record more. Seriously.