Cheer Up Dusty – Last Year Gave Me The Business
Cheer Up Dusty is a one man rock band from Philadelphia. Singer Justin Humenik formed the band in 2018, as a coping mechanism after his departure from the band Make Shift. He released his first EP in December of 2019 entitled ‘Last Year Gave Me The Business‘.
This album features strong guitar riffs, heavy drumming and an overall hard rock vibe. I really like the overall sound. Even though it’s primarily heavy rock I can still sense a little bit of punk overtones to it. It’s classic hard rock which combined with Dusty’s singing, these tracks truly come to life.
In addition to the heaviness of the instruments Justin also has included heavy lyrics. I don’t mean screaming, yelling, or hard metal singing, but raw, open, emotional, and honest thoughts. I know artists generally write about their feelings, experiences and emotions, but this is different. They’re unbridled and unfiltered, as if these words were actually swirling around in Justin’s head. You can hear the aggression in his voice which perfectly matches the tracking.
I enjoyed this album. Some of the language was maybe a little obscene for my personal taste, however, I think that’s part of what I like about it. I think about some other artists I listen to and whilst they are open and raw emotions, the lyrics can seem to be edited slightly to make it more radio friendly. From what it seems, Justin took the thoughts in his head and wrote them down straight away and didn’t worry what people would think. It was refreshing, like an all access pass into his mind where there were no hidden secrets. Everything is pure Justin.
Another thing I liked about this album is the overall sound. I love almost anything with a strong beat and electric guitar. Whether it be punk, pop, metalcore or heavy/classic rock; and the sounds from this album were great on both fronts. It kind of reminded me of an old school garage rock band in the best possible way. The beats from the drums matched with the riffs from the guitars started a mosh pit in my head.
Overall I greatly enjoyed this album. It’s real from head to paper and I love it. I strongly recommend Cheer Up Dusty to anyone who listens to any type of rock.
Words by Alex Leff.