Dirtface are down to Earth, in more ways than one.
Dirtface are down to Earth, in more ways than one. Milky Burgess

This hellish weather we've been having lately has me thinking a lot about the mundane yet essential act of breathing. So maybe now is a good time to write about "Leatherlungs," the first song from Busy Dying, the forthcoming album by Seattle underground-rock vets Dirtface. Led by guitarist/drummer Don McGreevy (who also plays in Earth), Dirtface boast four members from former Stranger Genius nominees Master Musicians of Bukkake (McGreevy, Milky Burgess, Jim Davis, and Brad Mowen), but this outfit—which has been workshopping on the dl since 2012—veers off from MMOB's polymorphous global-music excursions into a more focused take on melancholy, spectral rock. (Keyboardist Steve Stebmo Moore of SunnO))) and Earth fills out the lineup.) McGreevy views Dirtface's music as an extension of his cosmic-pastoral 2015 solo album, Aichmophobia.

In keeping with Seattle's apocalyptic climate this summer, "Leatherlungs" bears an end-times poignancy with its majestic melody and trudging tempo. The repetitive, chiming guitar motif and descending bass line recall Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method-era Earth, as Dirtface patiently explore every nuance of the tune and wring every ounce of emotion out of the guitars' ascending helix of spiritual sonorities. Anyone familiar with "Silver Tightrope" by Armageddon (Keith Relf's post-Yardbirds group) will shiver in appreciation for the spangly, mesmerizing tone that Dirtface manifest here. There's something at once heavy and ethereal in "Leatherlungs," and its murky radiance betokens sublime things from Dirtface's debut LP, which is projected to drop this winter.

Dirtface perform Sunday, September 9 at the Tractor Tavern with Ben Von Wildenhaus and Shitty Person.