A Fistful of Dirt, by Obed Herrera
music review by My Nguyen
Like after reading a good book or watching an especially exceptional film, a good album requires a certain amount of contemplation after experiencing the artist’s display of style and sounds. In A Fistful of Dirt’s self-titled EP, the songs ff this disc create a steady ambiance of dark, twisted emotions. After listening to the first half of the EP, you get a sense of spiraling down a dark abyss of someone else’s misfortunes, yet soon enough the troubles become your own—they are now your neuroticisms being exhibited and exposed in the resolute vocalization and tight guitar riffs off the EP.
It is impossible not to reflect and brood over life and love, betrayal and angst, or just plain paranoia in this compilation. Songs like “Redesign” offers a disheartening glimpse of those things and more. In “Never,” the hypnotic hooks offer another glimpse into the dark terrain we have arrived in.
But it is only towards the last half of the EP were it seems like the band has began to own up to their sound. In “Set Me Free,” the language and lulling effect of the harmonies sets the tone for the rest of the disc. Their sound gets tighter and the vocals are better executed towards the second half of the disc, creating a more lasting effect unto listeners.
You can tell by their musicianship that the members of the band have been around for a while. The members to A Fistful of Dirt have been in the scene for over 15 years but in separate projects. It was only in January 2009 that Obed and Jose collaborated to rescue the songs Obed had arranged riffs and fragments for during 1996-2000. Jose added lyrics to the arrangements, and in the following months Ricardo and Carlos Humaran on drums and bass respectively, joined the crew to make A Fistful of Dirt happen.
It is highly probable that the first half of the album contains more dated material than the second half, but one thing to be sure of is that this won’t be the last we will be seeing of A Fistful of Dist. Their range and sound is anything but neutral. Whether you love or hate it, the EP definitely provokes you to feel something. And this is perhaps the highest compliment any work of art can get—the potential to evoke a spectrum of emotions and