Poems & Dust (PND) may be a name you’re unfamiliar with but let’s spread a little education for those who don’t know about this duo. Poems was part of the seminal group LA Symphony, known for giving us such 12″ classics as “Broken Tape Decks” with another well known LA Symphony member, Pigeon John. It should also be noted that Poems has also put out four, count ’em, four, solo records, each equally nire entertaining and knowledge-filled as the last. Dust, the man behind the boards, is known for his work with MARS Ill. You could probably hear his dusty break blueprints spread across on The Blue Collar Sessions. Both have joined forces to form PND, with the result being their debut record, Dirty Words.
The production is made up of some similar work that you might have heard on Mars Ill’s Blue Collar Sessions, such as the horns and subtle guitars on “Lone Star”, while the bluesy guitars take the forefront on “Change”. Whimsical flutes and pianos take charge on “Dig Deep”, while Hammond notes strike subtly on “Fly”. Elsewhere, acoustic guitars starkly strike along with those similar organs on “Grace”. All the while, Dust lets punchy, plodding kicks and snares accentuate the record. And it presses along with head nodding production that delivers with emotion and passion. It’s here where the album truly shines.
Meanwhile, Poems definitely plays the role of the introspective dusty foot traveler, delivering his verses with an emotion and passion of a person who looks inward for the inspiration and delivers evocative thoughts throughout the record. You can hear it “If You Wanta Know”, looking at where Poems stands in this culture. On “Listen” is where Poems delivers urgency, while you hear more self-motivation in “Lone Star”. And on “Oz”, he reflects on his journey and his many travails, realizing that home is where the hatred and heart lies. You also hear much more about Poems trying to inspire the listener on cuts such as “Power to the People” and “Will Not Be Sold”, both of which are the strongest statements on the record by far.
Overall, don’t take Dirty Words at face value. In a sense, this album title speaks more to the message in the music rather than what the record might be about, and that is its innate ability to delivery empathy, power, and inspiration to the respective listener. It is meant to be something of a mission statement to the truth it speaks, and to show off the never ending and limitless talents of Poems & Dust. At the end of the day, this is revolutionary music needed in days and times such as the ones we are living in.