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Dustland Express: The Question, Sir, Is Why?

Exploratory rock meets cinematic intensity.

12 Oct 2017 / Opinion, Review / written by Elmarie Kruger

Experimental rock band Dustland Express’s debut album encapsulates the band’s musical ups and downs since they reformed from the ashes of Man in Suit.

Album opener ‘Voyage of Men’ is a forceful, attention-grabbing introduction to the band’s sound and showcases a solid vocal, immediately followed by an assertive guitar riff before veering into a more operatic, piano-driven territory.

‘The Poetic Injustice of Rats’ is a melodic war cry, and features an impassioned video to add to its spirited tone. ‘Flight of the Meek’ is yet another emotion-charged piece, featuring a fast-paced synth accompaniment and a thumping bass-line.

‘Empire of Dreams/#Heisenberg’ is a slower piano ballad, featuring clear, subdued vocals, with a swaying chorus. Poignant and affecting, it is a track that manages to be at once melancholic and uplifting.

Strident and decisive, ‘The Solution’ is a bit more cutting and intense in both its vocal and instrumental delivery, sounding strikingly similar to Fall Out Boy’s more recent releases. Meanwhile, the carnivalesque piano intro of ‘Nemesis’ give the track a sinister feel, intensified by violins and swelling guitar riffs that join the instrumentation as the track progresses.

‘Take the Devil for a Spin’ begins with an eerie music-box melody, after which it immediately jolts the listener to attention with the rugged declaration: “Hail Satan!” This track consists of many acts, some more slow-paced than others, but all equally intriguing and innovative. Melodic rock influences shine through once more on ‘Don’t Say Goodbye, Scott’ – an introspective, cinematic offering with a haunting orchestral accompaniment.

The album ends off with ‘Apocalypse,’ which mirrors the atmosphere of the introductory track, bringing the album full circle. With their theatrical sound and willingness to experiment, Dustland Express have produced a final product worthy of your ear.

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Listen to “The Question Sir, Is Why?” below on Deezer.