Lab exclusivo! Duster - a trio comprised of Clay Parton, Canaan Dove Amber and Jason Albertini on and off since the mid 90s - makes ‘experimental depressed music’ (their words, not ours - just don’t call it sl*wcore); somber, fuzzy shoegaze-adjacent sounds equally suited for being shot into space or staying in bed all day with the covers pulled tight. But if the title of their fourth album suggests a shift away from lonerism, it appears to be genuine. The guitars on Together sparkle, the vocals are upfront and crystal clear (no more online lyric speculating); lo-fi has never been this coherent and direct. Sure, it’s a bit unusual for a trio of sadboi lifers to suddenly shed their dejected husks at this point in their career, but then again, this is the most unlikely band on probably the entire planet to suddenly become popular on TikTok, and that happened this year too. Centerpiece “Escalator” contains the band’s most cosmic-sounding synthesizer intro as well as a sincerely beautiful vocal harmony on the outro, the likes of which the Duster catalog has never seen. “Time Glitch,” and “Teeth” offer more hints of vulnerability. Together is an epitomical Duster record though, with plenty of touchstones on par with their early albums: “Sad Boys,” “Feel No Joy” and “Sleepyhead” are a few choice song titles, the sounds contained therein simultaneously sparse and meticulously produced, drawing from an enviable collection of boutique pedals and outboard gear acquired over three lifetimes. “Making Room” is a trembling brick wall of distorted guitars and redlined drums; “N” sports lyrics about paranoia, lead guitars tearing through the fabric of space like a machete sent through a wormhole and the slowest drums you’ve ever heard in your life. Released by Numero Group (who’ve done a bang up job restoring the band’s back catalog in recent years) and pressed on Turntable Lab exclusive opaque red vinyl limited to 300 copies. Highly recommended!
- Turntable Lab exclusive
- ashtray red colored vinyl
- housed in deluxe tip-on sleeve
- limited edition of 300
- music label: Numero Group 2022
- TTL Editions 094
reviewed by Isosceles Kramer 06/2022