Every so often, the inspiration found on an EP or album is preceded by an inspiring title. Something about Dust’s debut release, et cetera etc, flows off quite nicely. Their six-track, one intro, one outro collection is a marker of their quality. A lush twenty minutes of forgotten voicemails from friends, strangers, family, who knows. Dust uses that as the basis for their tracks, a winding narrative that touches on placid voice notes. Gutter is anything but placid though, an infectious, heavy track that strides along with the best of guitar rock. Class smash first track Gutter is a pop at the upper-class privilege but manages to avoid the potholes of generalities by going for the jugular.
Impressive and bold guitar work is as crucial here as the vivid imagery of four-leaf clover metaphors and brick wall conversations. That classic post-punk intention lingers on very clearly, but Dust works it over with an appropriate push to the contemporary, an inclusion of a wildcard saxophone on Alternator pushes it forward even further with a crucial colloquialism. Those saxophone charms push through Alternator’s end also, linking it nicely to a quick Interlude that gives the five-piece a moment of rest. Understandable, after the onslaught of perfection of Alternator and the punchy lyrics that come from it, a break for the band and listener is necessary. Smooth and cool saxophone pumps gel nicely with a sickening bassline, a brooding little beast that strives for a place on Ward 52. It ebbs away though, giving in to the rise and rise Dust has already perfected.
Expectations are rallied against on Joy, a Suede-like interpretation of spoken word pushback. Dust do not want to be the desire of their listeners but a reminder of self-desire. Strong and unique messages are the draw for this EP, and with that, et cetera etc finds itself with the stop, panic, crash occasions. Moments of unwieldy terror, of uncertainty and of feeling aimless and driving forever. Joy (Guilt) is a titan of a track. Absolutely incredible work that feels endless yet only lasts for four minutes. In those four minutes are a plea of freedom to a listener, for them to value themselves and not to latch onto whatever they heard that week that can somehow shift their personality. Ironically it makes for quite the relatable track, but Dust has elevated their meaning through the harsh licks and surprisingly warm feeling their work brings about.
Drowning in those tones and sharp criticisms is a treat but an important shift of momentum too. Dust is an essential post-punk unit whose work here has all the sharp rises the harshest of punk fans could desire. Powerhouse tracks pumped up on a smash-and-grab verbal attack on the powers that be. Post-punk serves its politically charged purpose once more, but Dust elevates themselves to a level where their lyrics and focuses, the specifics that guide them, are as important as the explosive creations found on et cetera etc. Five dull brains and all of them connected to the root cause of volatile, impressive guitar work, guided along by the terrors of hospital wards and the endless drives. Clawing at purpose and finding a consistent loathing and desire for revitalisation throughout, et cetera etc marks an important EP, not just for Dust, but for those lucky enough to listen in.