Album review – The Dustflowers- Get There
By ANDREW McKAYSMITH
THE lads from Brisbane certainly have enough experience through live performance to produce a cohesive EP. Prior to settling down for a thorough listen for the purposes of a review I did find myself asking if they could write catchy tunes that would find a place amongst the plethora of blues-based rock’n’roll available to punters through streaming and on demand music services in 2017.
First track “No Friend of Mine” rolls out the red carpet through a riff that reminds me of the latter day Rolling Stones effort “You Got me Rockin’”. So essentially, we are off to a great start. Dave French’s lead vocal sits nicely in the centre of the mix, and I can sense that provided his vocal is afforded some room to breathe through the rest of the EP, it should be a melodic offering that will keep fans of classic and moderately hard rock pleased.
What I really like about all of the EP cuts is that it is music that can reasonably described as easy listening yet there is enough of a bite for it to translate well to the live performance arena. Another reference that I could easily use is that if French’s voice was replaced with Jimmy Barnes’ then it would be hailed as something of a late resurgence for the veteran entertainer. This comparison is particularly true due to the cut “Free Divin’”. Barnes’ daughter (Mahalia) could even be introduced to the comparison through the heavy use of female backing vocal in the chorus and the closing stages of the song.
There was an unexpected turn through the introduction of some alt-country sounds though. “Let Me Down Slowly” is a meandering jig that encourages a visual of long and dusty plains somewhere beyond the outback bordering Queensland town of Emerald. Country is barely my preferred style of music however this cut is well written, performed and is a mid EP respite before the rock is again offered.
Horns, a spoken word intro and a buzz saw bass greet the senses on “Diggin’ at My Brain”. Well before French starts his monologue about some bloke he works for this track screams frustration. “Diggin at My Brain” hints at the frustration of a hangover the morning after a wretched night. We have all been there and you know what I mean!
The final EP cut is called “Stomp”. This is my favourite track. It has big drums, big guitars and a slinky vocal accompaniment. I really like how the vocal has been layered here. Again, I am drawn to make a visual comparison; Dirt and dust is scattered from a tin roof that is baked dry from decades of relentless sunshine. Massive drops of rain fall and create a symphony of percussive sounds. Drummer Kris Goodwin offers glorious restraint on this track, anchoring the beat so guitarist Jase Byrne can noodle and weave over the corrugated iron of the bass drum and the staccato horns.
So, would I recommend the album after so many descriptors have been used to help paint a picture of the bands music? You betcha!
A few months back I spoke to Evan Stanley, the son of the great Paul Stanley from KISS. Evan and his bandmates in The Dives have produced a stellar four track EP called Everybody’s Talkin’. This EP works in no small part to arrangement of so many great ideas into four killer cuts. The same is true for The Dustflowers and Get There.
Admittedly, when it comes to rock I prefer music on the heavier scale. But I did enjoy Get There and I think that it bodes well for the band that a bloke who typically leans to harder sounds found plenty to like across the five cuts.