The Honest Hour

Assembly of Dust

Hybrid Recordings, 2004

http://aodust.com

REVIEW BY: Tammy Childs

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/26/2005

This one is described as "60 minutes of unadulterated, live Assembly of Dust recorded at Revolution Hall, Troy, New York," and it's hard to argue with that.

The group felt this was their most honest hour of live music, but still cleaned up the recording to cut out some obnoxious audience noise, thus making it similar to a studio recording but still retaining the natural energy and spontaneity of a live performance.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Formed in 2002, the guys in Assembly of Dust have played with members of Phish, Cake, the Allman Brothers, the Grateful Dead, the Talking Heads and even Chuck Berry. That work has paid off -- this "hick-funk" album that recalls Paul Simon but still maintains enough individualism to stand out.

"Harrower" is a rich, earthy piece incorporating a sliver of country. The vocals thrive, the guitar work is crisp and vibrant and makes a nice contrast to the vocals and keyboard flourishes. It sets the precedent for the rest of the CD.

"Honest Hour" blends pop and folk and is a truthful view of their music as a whole -- smooth vocals and a steady rhythm control. With hints of jazz, "Paul Henry" blends in integral pop to produce a lively, sincere musical number with catchy vocals full of personality and frank lyrics.

Other standouts are the Seals and Crofts-like "Speculator," with lyrics reminiscent of Paul Simon and sparkling keyboards that show off Nate Wilson's huge talents, and "Honey Creeper," which offers a more funk-jam sound. It was an unexpected and well-received diversion, especially in the lyrics ("She was born by the name of Lynn / But she went by Honey Creeper").

This is indeed a full hour of entertainment that lacks nothing. The band has taken no shortcuts and The Honest Hour extracts the best of Assembly of Dust as an explosive group while carefully maintaining their fundamental individuality.

[For more information, visit www.assemblyofdust.com]

Rating: B+

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© 2005 Tammy Childs and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Hybrid Recordings, and is used for informational purposes only.