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Screaming Trees - Dust (Epic)

Screaming Trees were always better than most of their grunge counterparts from a few years ago, without gaining the reputation that Nirvana and Pearl Jam got. Now that all the hullabaloo has died down they might be able to come into their own and get the widespread recognition they deserve. Dust is a timely reminder of what a good band they are after all.

It is aptly titled. The album sounds as if it was inspired by the vast American desert. Mark Lannegan's voice is husky and melodic, blowing like the wind over the loose retro guitar grunge, and the soulful lyrics deal with the past, all nostalgia-like and all. On Dying Days, Lannegan sings "this ghost town used to be my city". It could easily be taken as a metaphor for the rise and fall of Seattle. On All I Know he sings "all that I know should have been, could have been mine".

Dust is primarily an album about regrets. It borders on excellence and should see Screaming Trees making a welcome return to what has become an all-too-whimsical music scene.

by Niall Byrne