Maaaaaan, that Clifford Dinsmore dude sure gets around! From Bl’ast, to Spaceboy, to the criminally underrated Gargantula, and now on to Dusted Angel, he has been yelling up a storm since 1982!! Jeeeeez, it’s a wonder the guy has an vocal chords left!!
Thankfully for Clifford’s Otolaryngologist (look it up smart guy!), the guy has a lot more room to breathe in Dusted Angel than in the furious hardcore of Bl’ast or the claustrophobic drugscapes of Spaceboy and Gargantula. Clifford’s vocals here are certainly more restrained than in any of his previous outfits, but still intense and on-the-money. It’s more of a throaty howl here than the full-on gonzo attack of Bl’ast or Spaceboy, but anything harsh would NOT suit the more straightforward, ‘listener friendly’ sounds of ‘Earth Sick Mind’. Dusted Angel refer to themselves as ‘Doom Rock’, and I guess that is as apt a description as any. Too upbeat and rockin’ to be Doom, yet too intense to be Stoner Rock, I guess ‘Doom Rock’ is what they are!
Often reminiscent of a more focussed, sharper-sounding, Kyuss, Dusted Angel also retain a little of Spaceboy’s trippiness and flashes of their proggy tricksiness – most notably on ‘Tards With Shards’, with its jagged, lurching, driving stop-start feel, and tumbling off-kilter breakdown, and on the watery, lysergic guitar intro to ‘Scottstober’. Elsewhere, though, things are more heads-down, balls-out ROCKIN’.
After a trippy, spacey intro ‘The Thorn’ gets down and dirty, jagged biker-metal grooves trading off with quieter, ominous, ‘calm before the storm’ parts and driven along by some thumpingly tasty drumming from Clifford’s ex-Bl’ast bandmate Bill Torgerson. A juicy wah-wah lick opens second track, ‘Seeking the Dawn’, with the entwined guitars of Eric Fieber and Scott Stevens pushing the tune along with a galloping Iron Maiden-esque gallop. ‘Tards On Shards’, as I mentioned earlier, has a lurching feel to it, somewhat reminiscent of 16 circa ‘Drop Out’, and features the most ‘Spaceboy-ish’ breakdown of the record. ‘Scottstober’ , following its watery-sounding intro, operates in a similar ballpark to Kyuss in their latter days, although more focussed. ‘Dogwhistle’ opens with a real one-two-punch of a riff, a southern-styled humdinger that quickly gets aggressively groovy – think a more hardcore influenced version of Down. ‘Pulverizer’ is a really driving number with an almost old-school Slayer-esque breakdown to it and a HUGE chorus, and the coup de grace, ‘Earth Sick Mind’ itself, an intense crossover number. METAL as hell, but with the barely-restrained anger of hardcore seeping out of its pores too.
For those of you who have joined the space-age, there is an i-Tunes only bonus track, ‘Sensory Obliteration’, about which I know NOTHING as it wasn’t included in the promo version, but I can hazard a guess that it’s a righteous belter of a ditty. Hell, why change a winning formula, right?
Okay, cards on the table here, Dusted Angel are a solid band with a wealth of experience that more than pays off on ‘Earth Sick Mind’. They’ve played with Fu Manchu, Nebula, Saviours, Saint Vitus and Black Cobra, and I can wholeheartedly recommend Dusted Angel to any fan of those bands. They have the chops and the riffs to appeal to the Stoner and Doom crowds, and the background and intensity to win over a hardcore crowd with ease. If you’re looking for some quality Cali Doom Rock, you GOTTA check out Dusted Angel.
Scribed by: Paul Robertson