Duster - Together Music Album Reviews

Duster - Together Music Album Reviews
The trio’s second album post-hiatus matches the clarity of its arrangements with an unexpected spiritual lightness. Rarely has Duster sounded so pleasant and peaceful.

Duster aren’t so sad anymore. As they release their latest album, Together, the San Jose-formed trio once known for their uniquely murky and dejected mutation of rock music have admitted as much. “It’s a lot more like absurdism than nihilism,” says multi-instrumentalist Clay Parton in a press release. That’s surprising coming from a group who’ve previously described the feeling their music evokes as “desperate, purring distress,” and for whom nearly every song became a meditation on existence, anxiety, and the slog of the end times. Each member—Parton, along with fellow multi-instrumentalists Canaan Dove Amber and Jason Albertini—carried that heaviness into their solo work as well. One of Parton’s projects is called Eiafuawn, short for “everything is all fucked up and whatnot.” But Together aims at something a little brighter, lending new color to Duster’s music and highlighting the thoughtful songwriting beneath the gloom. If they don’t sound happy, exactly, little moments of beauty and clarity suggest a hard-won lightness.

While it’s hard to unhear the despair in the decades of tape-hiss-coated recordings that preceded it, Together offers opportunities to take a new perspective on a band whose songs so often felt deliberately drab. Opening track “New Directions” makes their intentions clear: Gently plucked and warmly distorted guitar lines weave around a delicate whisper, a familiar formula for longtime fans. But shadowy as the instrumental sounds, there are assurances of constancy and commitment woven into its fabric. “I’ve lost touch, I’ve said too much, been opposites and such,” they sing. “But I’ll take care of all of us.” Even as the guitars spin out into feedback and distortion, there’s a sense of comfort and peace.

The record is full of these little oases—moments of self-possession and earned wisdom that break up the bleakness inherent to their slow, sad songs. “Time Glitch” meditates on the weight of the past over distant guitar feedback before happening upon a more thoughtful realization: “Sometimes, memories are kind.” The heavy-lidded drum machines and warbly guitars of “Sleepyhead” make for one of Duster’s most gentle arrangements to date, as they sing about the search for safety and “a quiet place” to rest their heads. Rarely has this band sounded so pleasant and peaceful.

Together also continues to emphasize the newfound clarity and purpose in Duster’s arrangements and production. There are still fresh experiments—like the kosmische synth swells that open “Escalator”—but this record is largely a refinement of the band’s sprawling, slow-paced sound, giving a little focus and momentum to their once-opaque instrumentals. Tape hiss and distortion carried a big part of the mystery around those first Duster albums; every whisper feels a little threatening when you can’t quite hear what it’s saying. Now, when they do indulge in darkness, it only hits harder. One of the record’s final entries is a static-scuffed track called “Feel No Joy” that evokes the mundane pain of its title. It’s heavy, but the open-hearted songs that precede it make it clear that the title alone isn’t the entire truth—there is joy out there, provided you’re willing to spend long enough looking for it.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Duster - Together Music Album Reviews Duster - Together Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on April 19, 2022 Rating: 5


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