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Duskwood – The Long Dark Award winner

The Long Dark
by Dave Nowels at 05 June 2019, 5:46 PM

I don't know what it is, but those Brits are cornering the market on good ol' fashioned headbanging, stoner rock these days. If you need proof, look no further that DUSKWOOD and their 4-track EP, “The Long Dark”. In fact, don't waste any time, go pick it up now at their Bandcamp page. It's available at a “pay what you want” rate, and you definitely should check it out. Hell, listen along as I tell you how much I dig it.

“The Long Dark” is as perfect example of Stoner/Desert Rock as you'll find. Okay, maybe it doesn't have super lengthy, droning jams to lose yourself in, but musically there's tremendous substance and technicality. “Space Craft” kicks in like you're breaking atmosphere, slowly descending until hitting terra firm. Then, all hell breaks loose, only to slow, then build again, and again.  The vocals are clean and purposeful, carrying a gritty element that makes itself know in all the right places. “Mars Rover” roars in with no hesitation highlighting the talents of the rhythm section. The bass work really anchors things in place here, allowing the drums to flail as needed, and quite effectively. The dual guitar work tops off everything here, and absolutely needs to be acknowledged. The riffs are bold, in your face and powerful, while the solos are somewhat reserved, they work exceptionally well accentuating the stories the songs are presenting.

Some more stellar bass runs and a more subdued vocal lead us into “Crook & Flail”, allowing DUSKWOOD to showcase a bit more of their psych side. The song builds quickly at times, only to back off, seemingly gaining more strength for it's peak. When that peak arrives, you can't miss it. Great harmonies, and perfect instrumental fills work together cohesively to present the highlights here. It's actually pretty refreshing to hear harmonies this effective backed by music this powerful. It's something that's not done all that often, but done exceptionally well here. “Nomad” brings this all too short space excursion to a close as the lengthiest track. A good minute and a half is used to build the riff here, and it's time well served. That riff carries us through the remainder of the epic track,  growing and shrinking; mutating if you will. Unlike many bands in the genre though, the riff never overpowers the remainder of the song. Indeed, every instrument manages to shine prominently, none more so than the vocals. Great track, and easily my favorite of this short EP.

DUSKWOOD have a few albums and EPs available, but it seems “The Long Dark” was their first in several years. Here's to the hope that there's more to come, and in a much shorter time frame. This is top of the line stoner/desert/hard rock, or whatever you want to call it. Only after listening through the album did I notice some of the band's influences. Truth is they really come as no surprise. CLUTCH, CHEVELLE, WOLFMOTHER, THE SWORD, KYUSS and QOTSADUSKWOOD could easily share the stage proudly with any of those bands, and undoubtedly have members of those bands excitedly watching from the wings. Maybe even taking notes. Good stuff boys. Well done. Now I really want to hear more.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 9


5 Star Rating

1. Space Craft
2. Mars Rover
3. Crook & Flail
4. Nomad
Liam - Vocals
Laurence - Lead Guitar
Greg - Rhythm Guitar
Aaron - Bass Guitar
Jack - Drums 
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 20 September 2019

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