Dust & Bones – Mission Back To the Forbidden Planet (El Puerto Records)

Wednesday, 24th January 2024
Rating: 7 / 10

Beyond the love of heavy metal, Germany also has a healthy appreciation for raw, dirty rock ‘n’ roll with stoner, punk and darker overtones. Dust & Bones are one of the domestic quintets continually delighting audiences in this musical amalgamation of influences across Europe for many years – leading up to this fifth studio record with a unique title, Mission Back to the Forbidden Planet. Through successive spins one notices an interesting cocktail at play as the band employs a dual singer, dual guitar lineup to execute tracks that possess a dirty, straight-ahead attitude which attaches itself quickly to your body, never letting go of the hooks until the next idea rolls out.

As guitarists Dirk and Bernd inject the bluesy/punk-oriented chord progressions with a bit of melodic flourish and metallic tones – you can hear interesting lead breaks peppered throughout “Feel Good” and the sleazy, groove-laden “Electricity”. The dual vocal nature from bassist Thorsten and singer Vöhri tackles everything from gang-oriented sections to a mix of hoarse screams/low roars plus semi-melodic sequences – reminding this scribe of everything from AC/DC to Motörhead, Turbonegro to Rose Tattoo. Which can work in the context of a crank it up effort like “For All the Good and the Bad” but seems a tad tedious in the lower register delivery of a mid-tempo outing like “Move”. These three chord-oriented songs provide plenty of swinging hooks, infectious tempos, and the ideal gang-like shouted choruses that go over gangbusters, as a second half track like “Planet 5” attests. The songs fly by to make a tight 42-minute record, showcasing an adapt knowledge of sticking to strengths while cutting away any excess to push the best foot forward track by track.

Probably the larger cult appeal of Dust & Bones lies in their home country to extend possibly into other European countries – as Mission Back to the Forbidden Planet contains adequate performances through catchy hooks yet is very familiar to those who love the stripped down, bluesy / punk-oriented heaviness on display. Kudos though to the space-oriented, astronaut filled illustration for the cover that should garner many curious individuals when seeing it on display at a record store.

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