The people who lead safe, ordinary lives don’t feel like they have much need for poetry or emotion-powered songs. They’re just looking to get out of the cold. They’re just looking to get away from the hurt. In this day and age, who could really blame them?
But they’re missing out. I know this for sure. Like someone who’s never been kissed on a cold Summer night or had their heart broken in the middle of a desperately cold winter, they’re missing out. Dust City Opera’s “Cold Hands” is a collection of songs for people who are neither shying away from these blessings.
The EP’s opener, “Drunk on a Ladder”, sounds like Van Morrison and Bob Dylan buddying up for a trip to New Orleans. It’s the happiest blues you’ve ever heard. It’s a celebration of the things that tear you apart and open you up to the poetry of the world. It’s a roadmap to where Dust City Opera will travel to next on this EP.
“Evelyn” is a Smiths-like short story song. It’s a list of observations about those who’re freezing even harder than the author. The song is notable for introducing a relaxed, confident, low-range vocal performance that is balanced by the carefully put-together orchestration.
In fact, this level of finesse is exhibited throughout the release. “The Gate” is based upon an almost Math-rock guitar riff. “King Friday” is a ghoulish vision in which the trumpet adds colour like Chet Baker asked to accompany a jazz-rock outfit. And, “Every Day is A Little Worse Than The Day Before” is the sweet miserabilism that Morrissey has not got to yet. It includes the line: “It’s a special kind of hurt that gets me out the door,” and possibly no other better defines this release.
Dust City Opera are scared of one thing – their audience believes that they might be a one-trick pony. That’s why, finally, “No One is Saved” echoes like a long-lost Chris Cornell song, all grit and controlled agony.
Nope, Dust City Opera can do a lot of things well. All of the elements that help make a good-sounding record are here. But, besides all of that, it’s that special kind of hurt that might make it special for you, too.
Social media links