Formed in 2015 around the nucleus of guitarist Adam Mackie and singer John Drake, The Dust Coda entered the studio in 2016 with award winning producer Clint Murphy (Thunder, Manic Street Preachers, Devilskin) with the resulting self-titled debut album released in October 2017 to critical acclaim.
With the advent of the pandemic lockdown, the band were going through some ideas and remembered that they had made some demos while writing for the album, which had been largely forgotten, so they brushed them down and the result is ‘Early Days – Raw & Unplugged’.
Alone With Notes’ gets us underway and as with all of the tracks here, it’s a gentle acoustic number that allows Drake to really put his stamp on the track and he gives a fine performance full of feeling and emotion, backed by a simple guitar arrangement.
Bourbon Pouring’ carries on in the same vein, but with electric guitar providing the backdrop this time and Mackie does an excellent job, giving us an intimate accompaniment to Drakes laid back vocal.
Love Sick’ sees the tempo picked up with a nice riff in there from Mackie, Scott Miller keeping the beat and this has a real summers day feel about it. You know, the roof down, stereo up loud, shades on.
It’s also got a bit of a Led Zep feeling in there as well just for good measure. The final track is ‘Sigh Inside’, which slows us down again and strips everything right back to the where we started, with Drake’s voice at the centre of the song.
I’ve heard a lot of acoustic stuff while we’ve be in lockdown and this is up there with the best of them. According to the band the tracks were recorded in between drinking sessions, which is maybe what gives them that honest, raw sound, that I find so appealing.
It’s a great EP and one which, in time, may well stand alongside their more expensively produced studio albums as some of their best work.
Early Days – Raw & Unplugged EP was released on June 5th 2020.
1. Alone With The Notes
2. Bourbon Pouring
3. Love Sick
4. Sigh Inside
The Dust Coda are: John Drake – lead vocals & guitar,
Adam Mackie – lead guitar,
Scott Miller – drums,
Tony Ho – bass.