Dust Bolt – Mass Confusion
Back in high school, I was a huge DRI fanatic. I listened to Dealing With It religiously, blasting it everywhere I went. One time my friend Dave and I were driving down a downtown avenue, just looking around and making fun of people as we normally did. After only thirty seconds of diverted attention, we looked down at his speedometer: we were blasting through the 30 mph street at 65 mph. The music filled the atmosphere with energy, and all it told us was to go fast, fast, fast.
Still, some things are better off dead. The world can live without feudalism, World War II, mass genocide, and crossover thrash. If you think one of those doesn’t belong, you’re right: crossover isn’t the worst thing ever, but it definitely suffers in the shadow of good genres. Power violence, thrashcore, grind, virtually all of it’s punk/metal hybrid cousins trump it.
DRI’s switch to crossover thrash in the mid-80s was dreadful. The blur of chords was switched to lots of metal space between the notes. It’s like if instead of cruising at 65 down the main strip, we were pumping the brakes every half a second. Going from teen angst to preaching about the dangers of acid rain, it was simply lame and, if the republican party’s opinion of global warming is to be believed, inaccurate:
“Will our children look back
With hatred or despair
At a generation of idiots
Who just didn’t care
About the fossil fuel fumes
And the aerosol sprays
That put holes in the ozone
And let in the rays”
In many ways, Dust Bolt recreates that DRI, whether it’s Lenny doing his best Kurt Brecht impression or the guitars chugging like it’s 1991, but they benefit from hindsight.
Able to eschew the throw away “dun-dun-DUN-dun-dun-DUN” riffing of yesteryear and the aforementioned banal lyrics, this enigmatic band knows how to make crossover thrash good. The same basic principles are there, but “Blind to Art” and “Mass Confusion” rip hard and fast. It has the one piece of the equation that most bands lack: good riff writing.
Unfortunately, for every step forward, there’s a back flip belly-flop that accompanies it. “Exit” is a flaccid power ballad that just can’t muster any strength, while “Mind the Gap” is way too metalcore for comfort. Why bother experimenting so much when you have a decent niche?
So yeah, crossover thrash still sucks. Sorry guys.