Dustin Herron is a very prolific musician residing in Corvallis, Oregon. You may remember his previous activism through a politically charged outlet called Abolitionist, which I covered through dozen of articles on these pages. The band has disbanded at the very beginnings of 2020, leaving an impressive discography for generations of punk rockers to consume it both physically and digitally. Later on, Dustin has continued his musical endeavors through DZTN 1980. Unlike Abolitionist, who solely relied upon a compelling blend of fully energized punk rock with scraps of hardcore punk picked up along the way, DZTN 1980 leans towards the more melancholic post-punk sound. Dustin has previously recorded two full-length records under this moniker, Outside The City and War Of Good Intentions, which I also covered on the blog. Both these records were published this year in the spirit of DIY ethics. With the third album on the way, Dustin leaves the impression that he took this project very seriously. Without further ado, let’s jump straight to examination. The first thing you’ll notice when you grab the cassette is the visual aesthetics. Dustin has decided to replace detailed illustrations with meaningful photography that remits a powerful pro-eco message to the listeners. The world has become a hellhole thanks to downwards of humanity, and this photo points out that we need a global restart to preserve what’s left. DZTN 1980 remains eco-political like on the previous recordings, with lyrics dealing about exploiting the Earth for profits, corporations poisoning the soil, spoiling the balance in ecosystems after tearing down the entire forests, and so on and on. Besides the criticism directly pointed to multinational corporations, false policies, politicians, and random individuals who support drastic actions against nature, DZTN 1980 also leaves the question is it too late to reverse things back to normal. Ode To A Dead Earth examines the current situation and offers reasonable solutions. Unlike his previous records, Dustin has decided to include some other influences in these compositions. Besides the unpreceded dominance of post-punk music, you’ll notice a strong presence of new wave and anarcho-punk sound. These subgenres perfectly match the aesthetics of the album, but Dustin has decided to include even more surprises along the way. There’s a subtle presence of goth rock atmosphere, instinctively paired with the chorus-ridden guitars. These goth rock accentuations are purposely decorating the well-structured compositions that remain withing post-punk aesthetics. The dominant basslines saturate compelling chord progressions with rich chunky sound. The bass guitar also includes a recognizable chorus effect, which in this case, doesn’t spoil all the fun. Excellent drum programming highlights all the accentuations provided by mentioned orchestrations. Perhaps the volume could be a bit increased on the drum channel, but it’s hearable enough already. Ode To A Dead Earth resembles the mid-eighties political post-punk albums mostly inherited by the British anarcho-punk scene. Dustin undoubtfully intended to catch the essence of the eighties era, but he also includes a lot of contemporary music trends, mainly showcased through distinctive production technics. Ode To A Dead Earth is more than a decent album with loads of great tunes, so I highly advise you to check it out. Ode To A Dead Earth comes on a cassette by 1859 Records in partnership with Different Kitchen Records from the UK.