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4.6 out of 5 stars
Dust
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I know of two criminally overlooked albums in the 90s-and then again a busload which were "simply" overlooked.
Those two are the eponymous album by Mad Season and "Dust" by the Screaming Trees.
The thing about the 'Trees is that for years it was anticipated they'd deliver a brilliant album and for years it wasn't happening. A true riddle really, since all the necessary elements were there: an incredible singer, and a truly great band to back him up. Yet, if you listen to their earlier albums the mystery gets solved. Internal band strifes, bad producing, or simply the chemistry not really coming together were the factors responsible for those rather "so and so" early efforts.
Once all the components were just right, the result, in "Dust", was exactly what many people were hoping for:
absolutely stunning.
The thing is that by then, noone was expecting anything much from the Trees and thus this masterpiece went largely unnoticed, when in fact, well, in fact it was one of the very best albums of the whole decade!
But it gets more interesting actually. "Dust", despite what many people think (in their desire to categorise everything) was not just "another grunge album". It probably had as little to do with grunge as Soundgarden did. What it was, was a gorgeous bluesy but unmistakably rock album with a capital "R".
But that alone isn't what makes it so great.
What makes it stand out is that it's one of those albums where the intensity of the music and the singing is so capturing that it's irresistible. "Dust" isnt one of those albums to listen to a few times and put it away for good. It's without a doubt an LP that you will come back to many times for years to come because it leaves a mark on
the listener like few albums do.
Mark Lanegan gives here the performance of his life. The moody and often very melancholic songs are
delivered by Lanegan in such a way, you feel you have a good friend over telling you his sorrows... The band go one better, and dress the whole thing up with some seriously heartwarming rock melodies, of the grandiose kind, songs that qualify easily as rock classics.
Basically, it's futile to try and describe how good "Dust" is. Or maybe there's not enough superlatives i could think of.
If you're looking for truly timeless music, this album will serve you more than well.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2007
Format: Audio CD
When I listen to "Dust" nowadays it really makes me question why the Screaming Trees never received the recognition of their contemporaries. While Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam surged into the limelight with passionate grit and angst, The Trees forged their own loyal allegiance through low-key yet equally admirable releases. "Dust" was the last of these releases, and proved to be a glorious swansong and the band's best.

For those unaware of the band's style and sound, I would urge you to try and separate them from their grunge era tag. Do not expect raging distorted guitars and aggressive vocals. Instead Screaming Trees fuse soaring melodies and harmonies, infectious chorus hooks and 60s psychedelic rock into their sound. The result is intriguing and unique, and is given further prowess and individuality by front man Mark Lanegan. Lanegan's wonderful gravely and brooding tone is sumptuous throughout, elevating the band's music.

What makes "Dust" such a special album for me is its consistency. The band was always able to write excellent songs, but always seemed to struggle to recreate this consistently throughout an album. "Sweet Oblivion" touched on the consistency needed, but still contained the odd lacking track that I would always skip. With "Dust" I can simply press play, sit back and enjoy its entirety. There are still standout tracks however, such as the stunning "All I Know" which has the most glorious of chorus harmonies. "Make My Mind" is one of the band's classic songs; showcases great pop sensibility in the main hook. "Dying Days" is perhaps the band's most well crafted song, shifting between subtle slow-burning verses and uplifting choruses. More psychedelic tinges are introduced with the swirling ballad "Traveler" and the intense closer "Gospel Plow".

For fans of the band's earlier releases "Dust" is a must have. It contains their best and most consistent writing, and remains one of my favorite albums from the Seattle era.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Back in the "grunge" days I was somewhat of a screaming trees fan. I bought DUST in '96 when it came out and loved it. Then my car got broken into and the CD vanished. 4 Years later, I remembered DUST and snagged myself another copy. Upon playing it for the first time in years I was ablsolutely taken all over again. This album is such a mastierpiece of music it's almost unreal. It's like a dream. It makes me want to start a rock n' roll band. Halo of Ashes is the perfect starter. All I know feels like an old friend to me. Sworn and Broken is likely my favorite song and every time I hear that incredible harpsicord solo it sends shivers up my spine. The Screaming Trees were a band torn apart by constant inter-band turmoil. The making of this album was perhaps the pinacle of that turmoil. However, dispite all the problems the band had and whether they knew it or not, they produced what I consider one of the best rock albums ever made. YOU MUST OWN THIS ALBUM!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Like some of the previous reviewers have stated, it is too bad that the Screaming Trees are basically ignored in the U.S. This album once again proves how important they are to the few who listen to them. "All I Know," "Sworn and Broken," "Witness," and "Dying Days" are great rock tunes, and the rest of the songs are only a notch below these. When I listened to "Dying Days" for the first time, I knew within ten seconds that it would be a song I would always remember. I only hope this band releases another album sometime in the future because I have heard nothing about them lately.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I've liked "grunge music" for quite a while, and when I eventually heard of the Screaming Trees, I downloaded the song Nearly Lost You. I liked it, but didn't think of it as anything special. After reading so much praise for Dust however, I decided to take a chance when I saw it second hand in a local record shop. I was blown away on the first listen.
Psychedelia and folk are genres I've never been drawn to, but the Screaming Trees have created such a unique, touching, folk/metal/psychedelia/grunge/genres-I-can't-quite-pinpoint hybrid it's impossible to resist.
Mark Lanegan shines: a husky, gorgeous voice that perfectly compliments the music, with moving and beautiful lyrics that match the quality of those of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.
From the first frantic burst of Halo of Ashes to the final fading melancholy of Gospel Plow, every song is a winner.
I wouldn't class this as a grunge album, but I think it will appeal to open-minded fans of the genre. Criminally ignored and among my top five favourites, I consider Dust to be the most versatile (and perhaps one of the best) rock albums ever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is a great album, very consistent, spiritual and entertaining, haunting and rocking. The Trees should've been huge--they've got as much talent as Soundgarden and the late Nirvana, as evidenced by this album. No filler here, folks, 10 tracks sounds short but try this--they are all GREAT!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I bought this CD used for $3 knowing what a great song "Nearly Lost You" was and figuring their later stuff might be as good. Little did I know that I had stumbled onto one of the best CDs I have heard in years! How were these guys not huge? Buy it and love it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Firstly, when i bought this record and listened to it for the first time it was not what i expected. The only song i had heard from the album was the kindof "happy" sounding "All I Know" this track is great, it love it and i kindof expected the rest of the album to be like it too. However it wasn't. There is a feeling of loneliness that comes across in the Trees' music, perhaps reflecting the places they grew up or their "misfit" image in society that only kids like the Trees can show.
However, although it was nothing like anything I had ever heard before, i was attracted to it. It's not depressing, it's not happy, its something in between that i can't exactly put my finger on, it just gives you a good feeling in some way and i think thats what makes it so good. I dont think it "classable" its not any genre, its all by itself, and it definately appeals. This was my first trees' record that i wanted so bad i bought in HMV of all places (ripoffshop)!
I have no idea what most of the songs are about, theyre good though. My favourite has to be "All I Know" theres something friendly about it in a way. "halo of ashes" is a great beginning song, again its hard to describe, its very Trees'. I like all of this album, but i couldn't tell you why, theyre one of those bands that just have that something that appeals, its very special and they certainly didnt lose it for Sweet Oblivion. and it was there before Dust aswell.
If you are/have been into alice in chains, pearl jam or beat happening, nirvana and grunge stuff, i reckon youll like it, its a great record to have. Mark Lanegan really did shine on this one.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I saw some reviews for this cd on amazon.com, they were mostly in praise, so I just decided to buy it used from Wherehouse. How could anyone not shower this with praise. This cd has some of the best songs I have ever heard. PERIOD. "Dying Days" and "Witness" are just incredible. Of course these guys were one of Seattle's originals. And were considered grunge with the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. Although none of those bands sound remotely similar....they seem to have been jumbled into an undefinable genre. The Screaming Trees do not share any similarities with these bands either. The best way to describe them would be "phsychadelic folk rock". It sounds kind of strange. But it makes sense when you hear them. The guitar's sing, the drums pound, and lanegan's voice is infectiously melodic and smooth. All of the elements flow together to create some of the most artistic and pleasing tunes ever made. Of course this album didn't sell that much. Why? I don't know. It is definitely intended for mature audiences. Those who can appreciate old sixties and seventies music like Buffalo Sprinfield and others. There are not any bad songs here, there aren't even any mediocre tunes. Everything is above par, and very good. If you don't have this cd...then your cd collection is worthless. GO BUY IT RIGHT NOW.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Forever the underdogs of Grunge, Screaming Trees finally received the recognition they deserve with Dust, an album of quality over image. Gentler and less angst than their peers, the collection of ten fine songs has "timeless" written all over them. Still not household names, and probably never will be, many critics praised the album as a masterpiece on release with sandpaper vocals and wide range of instruments. This is most relevant on 'Sworn and Broken' with an unexpected harpsichord coming in. 'Look At You' is moving and inspired and 'Witness' could be considered the most upbeat number on offer. Never likely to break into the mainstream or be played on the radio, Dust is low key and relies on musicianship rather than the current embrace of technology.
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