DUSTER – ” Together “

Posted: May 26, 2022 in MUSIC

After Duster’s expected third album, the band also delivers a fourth album and “Together” is another wonderful album that rubs up against the box of slowcore, but never quite fits
The Californian band Duster released two beautiful but misunderstood albums at the end of the nineties and at the beginning of the current millennium. After that, nothing was lost from the band for a long time, until Duster showed up in 2019 with a particularly beautiful self-titled album. That album gets a sequel this week with “Together”. It’s an album that’s not miles away from its predecessors and like these predecessors, it intrigues hopelessly. Duster still makes dark and slowly dragging guitar music, which draws from many boxes, but does not fit into any box. It’s music that explodes occasionally, but is at its best when this just doesn’t happen.

The American band Duster debuted in 1998 with the album “Stratosphere”, on which influences from indie rock, slowcore, post-rock, noise rock and space rock were mixed with a bit of lo-fi and some psychedelics. The band from San Jose, California, returned in 2000 with the also home recorded and at least as fascinating “Contemporary Movement”, but despite a number of rave reviews, the band did not really move forward and the members of the band each decided to go their own way.

Ten years later after the disbanding of the first version of Duster, the Californian band slowly but surely gained cult status and started to itch again with the founders of the band, which eventually resulted in a third Duster album in 2019. On this self-titled album, the Californian band perfected its so special sound and delivered its best album to that point.

Now Duster returns with a fourth album and the production of the second edition of the band is in any case the same as that of the first edition. “Together” continues the line of the self-titled album from 2019, but it raises the bar even higher.

Duster has always incorporated influences from slowcore and those influences also play an important role on the fourth album of the Californian band. The tempo is low, the guitar lines are heavy and dark, the basses and drums deep and the vocals languid. Duster, however, never exactly fit into the slowcore box in the past and still doesn’t. All the influences I mentioned when describing the band’s first two albums also return on “Together“.

The band describes her new album with some humor and relativism: “Gather your loved ones, “Together” is here. Duster’s fourth album is a 13-song exploration of comfortable, interplanetary goth. A sonic vaseline of submerged guitars, solder-burned synths, and over-driven rhythm tracks. I know people say, ‘Oh Duster music so sad, we’ve even said it ourselves before, but it’s a lot more like absurdism than nihilism”. Personally, I think the weather is especially beautiful.

Duster makes intense music on her fourth album and that intensity is only increased by the slow tempo. The rhythm section of the band plays beautifully, but it is mainly the guitar work that provides Duster’s music with a special charge and a lot of beauty. Certainly the slowly dragging songs on the album impose themselves mercilessly, but even if the American band increases the tempo a bit, you can easily stay on top of things.

Duster’s oeuvre now covers almost 25 years, but in those 25 years not much has changed. The Californian band makes music that sounds familiar on the one hand and matches that of a number of other mainly American guitar bands, but Duster always sounds slightly different.

It has ensured that the band has never got much further than the cult status, but “Together” is also a beautiful guitar record full of adventure. It is a guitar record where, apart from an occasional outburst, the tempo does not want to get in and on which not much seems to happen, until the album grabs you and duster’s fourth album shows more and more beautiful and special. Let’s hope that this fascinating band sticks a fifth album to it and if possible soon too. 

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