01. Pull Away/So Many Times
02. Walk In The Soft Rain
03. Thusly Spoken
04. Learning To Die
05. All In All
06. I Been Thinkin
08. How Many Horses
Bass, Slide Guitar, Steel Guitar – Kenny Aaronson
Drums, Percussion – Marc Bell
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Richie Wise
Born in Brooklyn, New York in the late 1960’s, Dust were a pro-type Heavy Metal band made up of three musicians and a lyrist that all went on to have major careers in rock and roll. Dust could actually be called a pre-super group as the band consisted of the two guys who went on to produce the first two Kiss albums, guitarist/vocalist Richie Wise and manager/lyricist Kenny Kerner, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer Marc Bell, AKA Marky Ramone, and bassist extraordinaire Kenny Aaronson who went on to play with Bob Dylan, Sammy Hagar and Joan Jett among others.
Before they were famous, they were Dust, however, a band of kids who were, accidentally and in some ways unbeknownst to them, creating American Heavy Metal. They only released two albums, 1971’s self-titled debut, and 1972’s Hard Attack before breaking up. Now, both albums have been re-released and remastered from the original analog master tapes on a single CD with a Record Store Day exclusive vinyl version released on April 20.
"We were loud and fast, and it was just unreal," recalls Wise. "Even when we played low, we were 20 times louder than everybody else. When we got our record deal, I got three Marshall stacks, Kenny Aaronson bought four Acoustic 360-watt amps, Marc bought this huge set of Ludwigs with a big 28-inch bass drum. On stage, it was just an amazing amount of exhale — not a whole lot of inhale."
The self-titled Dust album featured a song that is considered one of the first and finest examples of early American Heavy Metal in “From a Dry Camel.” That album also contains rockers “Stone Woman,” “Chasin’ Ladies” and “Loose Goose.” Hard Attack saw Dust write the best hard rock songs of their brief career, stepping up the musicianship, yet also performing songs outside of the Metal genre including “Thusly Spoken” and “How Many Horses.” It is the powerhouse tunes on Hard Attach, though, that make this album so special. “Suicide” has been a cult favorite for years while “Learning to Die” and “Pull Away/So Many Times” see Dust creating their own individual sound. Pretty amazing considering they were all 21 years of age or younger at the time!
Marky Ramone AKA Marc Bell comments, "We were teenagers, but we were pretty developed as musicians — concerning that genre. Nobody else in Brooklyn that I knew of could do what we could do as a threesome. And we had a style. Yeah, we could all play blues and rock, but we took it further. We took it to different time changes within the songs, and people weren't doing that at that time."
Both albums sound amazing as the songs, after being remastered, literally rock harder than ever before and have had new life breathed into them. "We tweaked it a bit," points out Aaronson. "But didn't want to stray too far from the original, because that's what people who do know it are used to. If it was up to me, I was thinking, 'I wish I could remix the whole record,' but the remastering was nice."
The final word on Dust goes to manager and lyricist Kenny Kerner, who is thrilled the band’s two albums will once again see the light of day. "I think young kids who never heard it before will find new Metal heroes, and people who grew up with Dust will rekindle their love for this music and this band."
Dust were almost an ideal cult band: a group that were of their time but never belonged to it, yet its members became better-known later, with drummer Marc Bell becoming Marky Ramone and bassist Kenny Aaronson joining the Stories, a band the singer/guitarist produced along with Dust producer Kenny Kerner. Of course, neither 1971's Dust or its 1972 sequel Hard Attack -- both combined on this Legacy two-fer from 2013 -- sound anything like the breakneck punk of the Ramones or the Baroque pop of the Stories, nor is it quite the proto-metal of its lore. Instead, the two albums find a power trio adrift in the mythic murk of the early '70s, sometimes recalling a bit of the towering cinematic crunch of Mountain, sometimes the folk-art-blues of Jethro Tull, occasionally dipping into a bit of blooze boogie but not as often as they dabble in some of the majestic art rock muddle of early Deep Purple. They can be heavy, they can be loud, but there's too much color and too many acoustic guitars for this to be easily be pegged as metallic. Instead, it's where acid rock begins to unravel, hitting very hard before receding into faux hippieland, peppered with pseudo-profound tales, but it's always clear that Dust would rather be "Chasin' Ladies." All this makes Dust read a lot more interesting than they sound: they have these unformed ideas, unwitting allusions, and gangly gallop that are kind of intriguing on their own terms but never quite add up to more of the sum of their parts. A great cult item, in other words: listening to it, you can hear why people love it, even if when you can't fall for its charms yourself.