CD review

The Honest Hour

By Written by Zach Davis
Music Review
September 24, 2004

Assembly of Dusts newest offering The Honest Hour is a 60 minute brigade of multilayered offerings displaying AOD doing what jam bands do best, playing live. The album was recorded at Revolution Hall in Troy, NY in Feb. of 2004. As with most multitalented jam based acts, AOD can obviously tear through self-reaping solos. However, instead of each band member taking their turn riffing multiple lengthy leads, the nine song set is centered around the hooks and soulful harmonies written by band leader Reid Genauer. Genauer is the former lead singer/cofounder of the band Strangefolk.

Genauer's newest concoction, Assembly of Dust, is said to be a modern extension of his philosophy of seeking escape in song and in seize-the-moment energy at concerts that border on revivalism.And, The Honest Hour is just that, beginning with an upbeat tune, called Man With a Plan,which is a narrative tale of one man and the little obscurities and contrasts of life, with a Pink Floyd-ish chorus, that goes you might as well accept the wreck and not expect to prosper/when youre hiding from the sun/youre living fast/the cold contrast/it fuels my fascination/like a breath before the punch.

The third track,Honest Hour is a soulful offering that represents a highpoint on the album. Genauers soft, spirited voice recalls that of Bruce Hornsby and Jerry Garcia. While the title track Honest Hour does wander a bit, it recollects and is ultimately a very beautiful offering. Oddly enough for what would be considered a jam band, there are various instances throughout the album, such as on tracks Paul Henry and Speculator, where Genauers dispositions and vocal offerings reminisce that of great folk songwriters of the past like Jackson Browne and the aforementioned Garcia.

Each track throughout The Honest Hour is consistent by offering its own catchy sound, and diverse musical texture. Genauer is complimented on the live album by the piano play of Percy Hills Nate Wilson, the lead guitar supplements of Adam Terrell, formerly of the band Groovechild, the bass plucking of John Leccesse, and the drumming Andy Harrick, who is formerly of the band Moon Boot Lover.

With Phish recently turning it in, and the Dead further, well, becoming dead, newer jam bands such as Umphreys McGee and New Monsoon, and in this case Assembly of Dust, are poised to step in and play a healthy part of the new-age jam band/roots rock scene.