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The Dustman Dilemma - Third Sigh CD (album) cover

THIRD SIGH

The Dustman Dilemma

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.79 | 5 ratings

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Steve Conrad
4 stars Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here

Hapless and Hopeless

In the beginning, there was "First Trip to the Roaring Plains"- that was in 2012. Then hard on its heels, "On Second Thought"; 2018. Now bearing down hard- "Third Sigh".

Is it just me, or do you sense a pattern here?

DUSTMAN DILEMMA or THE DUSTMAN DILEMMA (you choose) is a French waif...err French trio: Pierre Blin / keyboards, percussion, drums, synths; Samuel Frin / saxophone, clarinet, flute, tuba, trombone, keyboards; and Nicolas Tritschler / vocals, texts, drums, synths, accordion.

They appear to have lost or exchanged a few band members. Who knows- perhaps they got discouraged? Drifted off in a sea of confusion?

At Any Rate

Third Sigh is replete with world-weary voices, some in octaves, often founded on a rather monotone deep bass voice. The rest of the 'choir' seems to want to sing, and a few times the vocals are quite nice.

Consequently the voices seem to chant, and although I didn't have access to the lyrics (I wish bands would make these accessible without too much travail), what I could distinguish sounded well, hapless, bordering on hopeless. Resigned. Not really expecting much any more.

Instrumentation

As you can observe above- and factoring in the additional wind-power of adjunct Dust Persons: Samuel Belhomme / trumpet; Manuel Decocq / violin; Maxime Métais / guitar, bass; and Andjelka Zivkovic / vocals, piano- DUSTMAN DILEMMA eschew progressive rock conventions.

And I say "bravo"!

We get ambient sounds, skirling synthesizers, mournful chants, growing discord, distant voices sometime sounding distressed, and pulsing polkas gone berserk.

My Favorite Track

Although each of the nine tracks has its demented charm, its world-weary sigh implicit in its quiet suffering, "The Backlight" somehow leans less brokenly, less listlessly than its fellows. There's the pulsating opening, a bass guitar lick that repeats and brings some dissonance over held synthesizer chords, and that very deep male voice singing/chanting dirge-like lyrics.

A harder edged section emerges with drums and guitars swinging a bit harder than before, and more voices are added to the infernal choir. The backing brass and woodwinds grow more frenzied and build...then dwindle (frenzy takes too much energy!), and fades...into an obnoxious held pulsing tone.

Perfect.

So

I really enjoyed this hapless, hopeless ensemble of tunes and miscreants- quite a departure from the symphonic progressive rock some people find useful.

4 Stony Stars- an excellent (and probably damned) addition to any progressive rock collection.

Steve Conrad | 4/5 |

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