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by Screaming Trees

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Finally released four years after 1992's SWEET OBLIVION and recorded during a chaotic period of intra-band turmoil--singer Mark Lanegan was paying more attention than before to his concurrent solo career, and a Don Fleming-produced album from 1994 was reportedly rejected by the band's label--1996's DUST is a post-grunge epic. Although the Seattle band's '80s albums on SST Records had obvious roots in folk-rock and psychedelia, those influences were obscured in the metallic roar of the group's two previous major-label albums. DUST is the most stripped-down of Screaming Trees' albums, with Gary Lee Connors' electric guitars mixed lower than before, giving more room to Lanegan's whiskey-cured voice. Neo-psychedelic touches like Mellotrons, flutes, and even sitars color the songs, which have a reflective, introspective feel missing from most of their earlier records. DUST is a giant step forward.

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