Wednesday, February 14, 2001 Volume 66, Issue 96



Rock band dusts off classics for debut album

Dust For Life

Dust For Life
**1/2 out of five stars

Windup Records

By Shiley Carter
Daily Cougar Staff

If taking the defining characteristics of similar famous rock bands to create another potentially reputable band is what it takes to make it these days in the mainstream of radio and rock 'n' roll, then Dust For Life has definitely made it.

Their self-titled debut album was released last October, followed immediately by a U.S. tour with such notable bands as 3 Doors Down and Nickelback.

Composed of Chris Gavin (vocals, guitar), Jason Hughes (guitar), Dave Rhea (bass), and Rick Shelton (drums, vocals), Dust For Life has unquestionably risen to the top very quickly.

The Memphis-based band began playing in 1998 and immediately gained recognition and radio-play shortly after their first self-produced demo.

A mere two-and-a-half years later, the band's infectious grooves and dark lyrics can be heard all over the nation.

While many of the band's distinguishing features can be recognized as a spin-off of older and more notable bands' distinctive components, the combination Dust For Life uses to integrate their parts into a whole, make for a very pleasing rock sound.

Chapman Baehler/Windup Records

Memphis-based rock quartet Dust For Life brings its mainstream sound to Houston tonight. Their debut album is now available in stores.

Chris Gavin often sounds a little too much like Alice in Chains singer Lane Staley, but his creative lyrics are deep, dark and full of meaning.

He also toys with his vocals on several occasions throughout the CD by using effects that cast an eerie feeling upon the listener.

The practice of using two guitars is often overdone by bands, since most only use the double riffs to compliment one another.

Dust For Life, however, takes advantage of having the two guitars by producing a unique sound with one guitar while blaring out a catchy riff with the other. The sounds seem to contrast and compliment each other simultaneously.

Their radio-played song, "Step into the Light," is rather notable in its ability to cross over from heavy to harmonious sounds instantaneously.

Though its popularity could have something to do with the chorus, which sounds very similar to Ozzy Osborne's "Mama, I'm Coming Home."

Overall, Dust For Life is a strikingly good new band in the scene of rock. Their uniqueness is shines through the symbolism in the lyrics and the creative sound and style.

They probably should not borrow so many recognizable characteristics of other bands -- but on the other hand, that could be what got them where they are.

Dust for Life will be playing at The Engine Room on Valentine's Day.

For more information, check out their website at

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