“All the pill connoisseurs and the secret saboteurs got the fever for surveillance…” San Jose slowcore / space rock trio Duster squeezed off this sophomore album in 2000, two years after the cult hit Stratosphere, and then disappeared for 18 years (they’ve since reformed to tour and oversee this reissue of their catalog by Numero Group). While Stratosphere is the one everyone always talks about, it had a very cobbled-together feel to it, with fidelity ranging from 4-track demo to Crystal Pepsi. I actually like this one a lot more: it feels like the record they were always trying to make, and at just 3/4ths the running time of Strat, you can hear how proud they are. “Experimental depressed music” (as they’ve retroactively dubbed it) is still the name of the game, and with the vocals nudged up in the mix a bit, the record is an easy touchstone for the incoming 2nd emo wave. Opening track “Get The Dutch” opens with a blaze of guitars resentful at Y2K’s failure to deliver on its promise of doom and destruction. All 12 songs reverberate with memorable riffs and even more indelible lyrics, with no bleep-bloop interludes or lo-fi fat to speak of whatsoever. Feast your ears on the stoned jubilance of “Travelogue,” the cavernous “Operations,” tempered shoegazeism “Everything You See” or the terminally dejected “Diamond.” Pressed on black vinyl and housed in high-quality tip-on sleeve with replica of the printed lyrics insert from the original pressing, recommended.
- black vinyl pressing
- housed in tip-on sleeve
- original release year: 2000
- music label: Numero Group 2019
reviewed by Isosceles Kramer 06/2019