Duster review – indie rockers impress amid unlikely TikTok renaissance

Estimated read time 2 min read

After a near 20-year hiatus, Duster returned seemingly from nowhere in the late 2010s as newly proclaimed cult heroes. The relatively obscure Californian band who were active between 1996 and 2001 and blended indie, slowcore, and space rock, had struck a nerve with a new generation, racking up hundreds of millions of Spotify and TikTok plays and subject to articles crediting them as a band who “changed indie rock”. They are so in demand that the venue for tonight’s sold-out show had to be upgraded.

When the duo of Clay Parton and Canaan Dove Amber – bumped up to a four-piece band for live shows – step out on to the stage they are greeted with rabid enthusiasm from a notably young audience, even when just tuning up. When they begin the hypnotic strums of The Twins/Romantica, followed by the piercing hiss and dense fuzz of Orbitron, they quickly lock into a mood for the evening that feels equal parts subtle beauty and shattering devastation.

Despite playing slow, thick, heavy riffs, there is also a nimbleness and deftness to the band as they embrace restraint, subtlety and a thoughtful sparseness. The less-is-more slow-burn crash of tracks like Chocolate and Mint sound like a giant glacier cracking open.

Some of the delicacy, intimacy and atmosphere of the band’s records feel a little lost at times, with the sound often feeling muddy and congealed and with the vocals buried so deeply that they sound even more of a distant mumble than they normally do. However, what might be lacking in clarity and detail at points is made up for in transfixing grooves, engulfing swirls of sound and a simple yet forceful delivery that punches in all the right places.

The closing Echo, Bravo perhaps comes a little early for some, with the show concluding after just an hour, but the screeching feedback, gut-rumbling bass and clattering drums, intertwined with the dual vocals of Parton and Amber, is a perfect finale for an evening that ends exactly as it started: with the audience’s colossal screams for Duster’s unexpected slow jam hits.

Source: theguardian.com

You May Also Like

More From Author