Exposé Online banner

Dustman Dilemma — On Second Thought
(Bandcamp L'étourneur no#, 2018, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-12-26

On Second Thought Cover art

I hadn’t heard anything about this band before receiving this promo out of the blue (and by the title, this is obviously their second release); in some ways that’s good, no expectations of any kind, and totally open for a surprise, which this definitely is. The band is a six-piece from France, the members (all with first names only) playing drums, keyboards, saxes and clarinet, bass, violin, and contrabassoon, the drummer (Nico) is also the singer on the four tracks that have vocals with lyrics, the recording engineer is the keyboardist (Pierre), and the drummer also did the mixdown. The opening title track runs a good seven minutes and opens with only a dark menacing keyboard figure, soon joined by multi-tracked voice (all lyrics are in English), reminiscent of a shoegazer style, but after the first verse woodwinds, bass, and percussion join in the fun and soon we dispense with the vocals and are marching into early King Crimson-like territory, with all the players pushing the limits. The sax player (Sam) is the band’s powerhouse throughout the album’s arrangements, seemingly driving the entire group to higher and higher levels of energy, while the bassist (Virgile) and drums maintain a superb bottom end along with contrabassoon, though they have the good sense to disengage occasionally allowing the mood to go introspective and reflective. The two tracks that follow the opener are shorter numbers and are purely instrumental, showcasing different sides of the band’s work, as they delve into dark jazz-rock and odd meters, continuing through to the next vocal piece, “Beyond the Veil,” where odd grooves rule the night. “Back and Glad” starts with a powerful blast of woodwind action flanked by mallet percussion, all morphing into a euro-folk style that reminds me of Debile Menthol at times, the unconventional and dark vocals juxtaposed with powerful and edgy eruptions of winds, carrying through to the song’s coda. “Definitely Hammered” (instrumental) and “Foresigh” (vocal closer) form a nearly 15 minute bloc of music containing some of the most adventurous improvisation to be found here. The long and the short of it is there is a lot more here that’s hard to describe in words, but listeners who can appreciate the edgy side of sax-driven early progressive rock should waste no time in seeking out this gem.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Dustman Dilemma

More info
http://thedustmandilemma.bandcamp.com/album/on-second-thought

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Die Anarchistiche Abendunterhaltung - We Need New Animals – Under this rather long and cryptic (!) name [Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung] is hidden a Belgian band operating in the same areas as Cro Magnon, Maximalist!, Ensemble Nimbus, Miriodor or Palo...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues