eMusic Review 0
Assembly of Dust may hail from New York, but if their fourth album is any indication, these Northern-born rockers have Southern-bred souls. Some Assembly Required is unadulterated, rock 'n 'roots Americana in the very best tradition — warm, earthy and panoramic, it boasts enough blues and big-name guests to surprise even the most discerning alt-country fan.
The album opens with "All That I Am Now," a twangy, radio-ready jam that has frontman Reid Genauer trading balladic verses with Woodstock legend Richie Havens. Havens 'syrupy vocals, seemingly poured onto a background of pattering drums and kaleidoscopic guitar, keeps the track from becoming too rustic.
Several other tracks benefit from their big-name collaborations, bringing greats like Phish bassist Mike Gordon to underwrite the expansive "Arc of the Sun," and banjoist Béla Fleck to pluck jauntily on "Edges." Blues-rock songstress Grace Potter backs Genauer on "Light Blue Lover," a mournful duet that lovingly wears the watered-down blues of its title.
Despite the extensive guest list, however, Some Assembly Required ultimately succeeds on its own merits. Whether flirting with mid-60s psychedelia or ambling good-naturedly through soft Southern ballads, the latest from Assembly of Dust testifies to the enduring charm of blues-informed Americana.