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Album Review : The Dust Coda – Loco Paradise

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Review by Ritchie Birnie for MPM

The Dust Coda’s follow up to their amazing debut, Mojo Skyline is incredible. Loco Paradise is a record steeped in lockdown blues but nothing about it is as depressive as those times and this masterpiece is one hell of a way to remember and forget in an instance as you get your ass well and truly rocked off.

Opening number “Road to Hell” is a classic rock track fuelled by a large dose of early AC/DC. Lyrically this song is a mirror into social media and the insane battles we see every day. A world full of basically too many people listening to too much shit and being offended at the drop of a hat( as if being offended actually means anything…grow the fuck up and move on people).

This is a brilliant opening track that is as Lemmy would have said is good old rock’n’Roll. This up tempo number sets the bar that you will not be dropping under again till the album is finished.

Some staccato riffs introduce us to a bit of a fucked up love story in “Fairweather Love”. John Drake’s vocals sound very 70s and very strong. Two songs in and you can already hear the stunning production that has this sounding huge. I can happily accept a twisted, crumpled relationship if the outcome is a track of this stature.

From one side of love to another on “Love Sick” and this time it is the headiness of a new love and all the letting go, highs and lows and all played in a real southern boogie vibe that has The Black Crowes running through my mind. Three songs in and three completely different angles in attitude and musicality.

This shows just how far The DC have come in such a short time. The throwdown feel, the insane drumming of Scott Miller and the looseness. A sublime, feelgood, back porch banger to down summer beers too.

The feel of “Call out the Dogs” tells you all you need to know on this bands thoughts on everything pandemic related. They saw through the BS and no doubt took a beating like the rest of us who never bowed down to the insanity that unravelled. The agitation and frustration comes out in the guitars and the spat out lyrics. It has a real fuck you punk feel but the clarity of the message and strength of the song take it to leagues above.

I don’t think you can say any song on this album is not personal but “Come the Night” takes it to a new level as its message is a dedication to Taylor Hawkins which has a Zep and Rush backbone which once again comes out as incredibly powerful and the breakdown is both beautiful and dynamic.

“The Streets” took me right back to pandemic time. The story is one of shutting off the hate on screens and actually talking to people but it reminded me of those empty cities, barren transport and the weight of oppression.

The track again has a Zep feel, a 70s wispiness and carefree nature which is played out on acoustic and like those empty streets it walks forever into the distance just like John’s vocals as he holds a note for what seems like a generation.

If you start a song with “Hey mutherfucker are you looking at me” you know we are set for a reaction and “Rock’n’Roll Paradise” is going to grab you by the collar and shake the living shit out of you. This is a barnstormer and comes close to barbarism in its savagery and when you take the message from the song you know why it is a rocker…music is our religion!

“Free all the Dancers” is a brilliant piece of escapism and the thought of ganging up with likeminded people to pack up and just get the hell out of dodge is one hell of a good idea…book my ticket now.

The song kicks in with awesome drums fills and guitar flicks and has a real dose of Guns n Roses going on. Just like the title we will all be dancers by the time this track ends. I have the Axl side winder sway going on. This is just the dogs nuts.

From the opening of “Since You’ve Been Gone” you instantly know this is about loss and as John screams as if in heart wrenching pain you feel it deep down in your soul. This song really gets you in the feels and anyone who has lost someone is going to connect with this one.

“On Fire” definitely does what it says on the tin. The long intro kind of clears the mind for the message to follow and the rhythm section battering you’re going to take. This is a Rival Sons/ Dirty Honey beast of a track. The Dust Coda really have this music business sorted out early in their careers and with only one song to go there has been no sign of the supposedly difficult second album problems.

Track 11 and I honestly have to say I did not want this to end. After only a few listens this is in my top five of 2023 and is vying for the number one spot. “It Won’t be Long” is another song of loss and I think the power of this album is in the deep emotions and truths that the band have laid bare before us. Again we have strong lyrics, beautiful guitars and a harmonic monster of a closing number.

Mojo Skyline was a top three for me in 2021 and very, very rarely have I found a band follow up a sstrong album with such stunning brilliance. There was no slack, no fillers and basically as close to perfection as you can get on a second album.

Forget the album number, forget the fact that this is a young band, put away all your labels and fashions and accept that “Loco Paradise” is a stunning piece of music that deserves to be heard. If you call yourself a rock fan you should own this and trust me, if you have a turntable this is is one vinyl I cannot recommend highly enough.

There are still a few coloured options out there and the accompanying booklet is worth the cost alone.

Follow The Dust Coda:

Official site: http://www.thedustcoda.com

YouTube: @TheDustCoda

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheDustCoda

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheDustCoda

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thedustcoda

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