Seattle metalgaze trio Dust Moth have revealed the first single from their debut album Scale (due out July 22 on The Mylene Sheath). "Lift" is a girthful slab of majestic, melodic metal, elevated to a higher level by the dulcet, goth-grande-dame vocals of Irene Barber (former singer/guitarist for XVIII Eyes and current Erik Blood collaborator). Reviewing Dust Moth's 2014 Capitol Hill Block Party set on Line Out, I predicted Dust Moth—then a sextet—would be big. Premiering a song on NPR is a solid omen for that. Dust Moth are planning a US tour for the summer and fall, with dates to be announced soon. Check out Stranger freelancer Brian Cook's press bio on Dust Moth after the jump.
Robert Plant argued against Led Zeppelin's supposed role as progenitors of heavy metal, stating that the band had always been more interested in the sultriness of American blues than the brute force of the hard rock hordes they'd inspired. Regardless of their motives, Zeppelin helped define "heavy". You don't have a drummer that pounds with that much authority, a guitarist that plays with such panache, and a vocalist that wails with such intensity and merely chalk it up to following musical traditions. Similarly, "heavy" isn't the sole motivating force behind Seattle quartet Dust Moth. If anything, they're trying to channel some other permutation of the soulful, animalistic beat that drove Plant and his compatriots. But as history has shown us, you can't have a burly rhythm section, searing riffs, and forlorn vocals without the hordes taking you in as one of their own.
Dust Moth first stormed out of the gates as a six-piece juggernaut of veterans from Seattle's music community. Their debut EP Dragon Mouth was a tightly crafted amalgam of rhythmic brawn, mournful melodies, and dreamy atmospherics. It was as if the bass and drum combo of Jawbox was paired with the guitar work of Doves and capped off with the assertively feminine vocals of Chelsea Wolfe. Now pared down to a quartet, Dust Moth offer up their first full-length Scale. Driven by the haunting vocals and ethereal keyboards of Irene Barber (Erik Blood, XVIII Eyes), the alternately soothing and devastating guitars of Ryan Frederiksen (These Arms Are Snakes, Narrows), the syncopated thump of bassist Steve Becker (Giza), and the muscular drumming of Justin Rodda (Giza), the new streamlined incarnation of Dust Moth retains their layered and nuanced sound while tightening the focus on their "heavy-gaze" approach. Songs like "Corrections" and "Lift" carry more distorted urgency and instrumental heft than anything in the band's previous repertoire. On the opposite end of the spectrum, songs like "Night Wave" and "A Veil in Between" demonstrate the band's new less-is-more approach towards mournful atmospherics.
Given Dust Moth's dynamic range, it's hardly surprising that they've been able to share the stage with such diverse bands as Minus the Bear, Pelican, and Tombs. Following a west coast run with cerebral metallurgists Kayo Dot, the band reformulated their line-up and began constructing the nine songs that would comprise Scale. The album was recorded by Matt Bayles (Pearl Jam, ISIS, Mastodon) at Red Room Studio in Seattle and mastered by Ed Brooks at RFI. The Mylene Sheath is proud to release Scale worldwide on July 22nd 2016. - Brian Cook