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Assembly Of Dust: Black Flag Approved / Free MP3

The New Now

When I hear Assembly Of Dust's earthy brand of Americana, possibly the last band on the planet I would associate it with is Southern California hardcore punk legends Black Flag, but sure enough it's the late band's founder/guitarist Greg Ginn who is singing the AOD's praises in the liner notes of that group's recently released second studio effort, Some Assembly Required.

"You may as well just glue this CD into the player for the next year or so," writes Ginn, who apparently is no fan of the iPod. "Assembly Of Dust songs have a way of luring repeated replays. With each listen, the lyrics seem to reveal more, the next listen presents new questions leading to another questions...another goes the downward spiral of addiction. The well seems to run deeper with each bucket pulled from it.

"This music evokes a haunting Southern vibe. Somehow, an old South of days gone by. A South of pickin' on porches, classic literature, and strong whiskey. There is an elegant simplicity accompanied by the feeling that there exists considerable fire-power simmering under the surface," Ginn continues. "In fact, live the group is capable of extending a song with exhilarating musicianship and undeniable chops. While understandably discussion of AOD tends to focus on the songwriting, the fact should not be missed that this is one ass-kicking band."

Check out the band's live performance of "Pedal Down," a track from Some Assembly Required, in this fan-shot clip from a free show at Dartmouth College in Dover, New Hampshire to see if you agree with Ginn's assessment.

While Ginn's contribution to Some Assembly Required begins and ends with the liner notes, the band did call on some notable musician pals to contribute to the actual recording. In fact, there are guests on each of the album's 13 tracks, including such notables as folk legend Richie Havens on the album-opening "All That I Am Now," mandolin master David Grisman on "Cold Coffee," Phish bassist Mike Gordon on "Arc Of The Sun," and banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck on "Edges."

Yet Some Assembly Required isn't necessarily about the guest stars. The album's heart and soul belong to AOD mastermind Reid Genauer, whose sheer talent sent Ginn testifying and lured more than a dozen noted musicians to sessions for the album. Still, amidst all the big-named guests, don't forget AOD's core lineup of Genauer (lead vocals/ guitar), Adam Terrell (guitar/vocals), Andy Herrick (drums), and John Leccese (bass/vocals), which has been making music together since it emerged from New York in 2002.

Here's a free taste of Some Assembly Required with the studio version of "Pedal Down," which begins with Herrick's pounding drums, and highlights AOD's more rocking side, thanks in part to guests Andrew and Zachary Gabbard of '70s-inspired rockers Buffalo Killers. Check it out and if you like the track, feel free to right click on it and hit "save as" to add it to your own digital library.

Pedal Down

If you want to hear more AOD, I advise you to visit the band's official website where you can now download four other tracks from the album for free in exchange for your email address in an innovative promotion sponsored by Everybody's Nuts pistachios. The band is giving away a total of seven of the album's 13 tracks--a new track is available each Tuesday--so if you like the sound of Genauer and company, it's well worth you're while. And if you really dig it, pick up the whole album.

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