Duster‘s latest self-titled release goes real deep. Siphoning through fuzzy soundscapes and slow emotive progressions, you get a lot of clout within the album’s 45-minute runtime. You might already be familiar with Duster‘s work; if not, and you’re seeking out some layered psychedelic indie of the more modern variety, then this is not a record to be overlooked.
Well, I say ‘modern‘. The first track, “Copernicus Crater”, may have you believe momentarily that you’re listening to a 1970s prog record. This is, however, only a fleeting perception – be assured that each song on the album is substantially different to the next. A binding factor comes in the form of the heavily distorted guitars and the ultra-slow rhythm that accompanies them. It’s the way that these consistent hallmarks are gradually tweaked for varying emotional effects that render Duster a varied affair. It’s a near-abstract work of art so personal, it is unlikely to ever be replicated.
Take the following track, “I’m Lost”, as an example of Duster‘s unique musical traits. The song is bombastically intense, and the pound provided in the percussion places it in an almost orchestral context. What follows afterwards are a cluster of songs which are, once again, wholly individual. Continuing from this ear-opening prologue, Duster slips into a kind of sombre haze, where variety is still the name of the game, but now resides in a more subdued and melancholy form. Hear songs “Lomo” and “Damaged” for strong examples of this, further enunciated by the heart-wrenching ride of “Letting Go”!
After the hypnotic interlude of “Go Back”, the tracks take on depth of a more introspective kind. It’s pretty easy to get lost in the experience at this point. There is a wholesome utilisation of eerie noises, all of the fuzzy instrumental kind, to push forth this travelling feeling of wonderment. The journey closes aptly, as a nice sense of circular fulfilment hits the album at the finale track, “The Thirteen”.
As I mentioned, noise plays a big part in the atmosphere of the album. There are a lot of extra sounds, both shrill and ambient, which drive the energetic momentum of each song. It seems as though Duster‘s great craft would not be quite the same without this added depth. The eerie obscurity of these sounds are well-patented, and ultimately become a technical enigma known only to the band themselves. They worked hard on their art, and they also worked hard on making it distinctive.
Duster is extremely sure of itself and deserves credit accordingly. It seems to have a intuitive knowledge of when to pull on the heartstrings and when to astound. It’s true that you need to have a certain outlook, and be in a certain state of mind to fully appreciate to pallet of hazy, shoegaze-rocky emotion on offer. Acquire that, and Duster will give you a ride to rival most others of its kind. Digging deep and wondering across the breadth of this record makes for an ultimately memorable affair. Don’t miss out!