Agitated Atmosphere: Dumb Numbers – Dumb Numbers

As record companies continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Dumb Numbers.

Ten years is a long stretch. Twenty-three hours a day in a concrete closet, a sliver of light that does little to break the darkness. The one hour of freedom–that blissful stroll even as a prisoner of the moment—is the trice which we wait to cherish. Free from pop culture tendencies and expectation, it’s hard to bottle but it’s the pursuit of our waking hours in solitary.

Adam Harding has spent 10 years crafting the debut of his Dumb Numbers project but it was a stint worth serving. Buoyed by heavy hitters and heady friends such as Lou Barlow, Murph, and Bobb Bruno, the self-titled album found itself selling special editions quickly thanks to artwork by David Lynch and the name cache attached despite Harding’s relative obscurity out of his native Australia.

Good to know that the hype is far outpaced by the product. An album poured over this long could suffer from idleness or too much attention but neither is the case. And frankly, it’s likely the music world would not have been ready for Dumb Numbers a decade ago.

Harding and his friends end up with a polished but still-very-raw album. The riffs are nothing but viscous mud from years of trading the same path in the prison yard; Harding’s voice soars like that of the caged bird. Dumb Numbers bided their time and the wait was worth it. From isolation comes salvation, an album free from the shackles of what indie rock was supposed to be and the disfigured anti-hero its grown to be. A bit of 90s nostalgia and classic metal, as if time stopped when Harding entered into his sentence, now the sound of reason in a world of chaos. By its end, Dumb Numbers has you asking to be locked up for your own peace in a small cell of your creation. Just remember to sneak this album in before closing the door.

Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist whose work can be viewed at his website. You can also find him on Twitter.

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