RIYLGood Old War
Tracklist1. All Comes Down
2. (Into the) Atmosphere
3. Cut Them Free
4. Low Humming
6. Pale Light
7. Property Lines
9. Long It Lasts
10. There Somehow
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For anyone who is familiar with Canadian electronic rock group Holy Fuck, Dusted is the side project of Brian Borcherdt, who contributes a vast amount of noise to that project. Ironically, most listeners’ initial reactions upon listening to Dusted will be “Holy fuck!” as this side project has literally nothing in common with Brian’s main band.
Dusted is a two member project, rounded out by producer Leon Taheny, and the music is something to behold. The band’s sound is highly stripped down (much like Prince Harry in Vegas), but at the same time there is quite a bit of noise and a myriad of sounds packed into the music. The two have combined haunting melodies with a simple, folksy vibe, often times with mixed results. At times Brian’s voice is garbled, as if he were singing from an underwater microphone, which sometimes results in interesting and melodic melodies (“(Into the) Atmosphere”), while at other times his voice is too distant for comfort (“Long It Lasts”).
The problems with the album are inherent with the style of music Dusted is producing. This folksy lo-fi sound is easily able to be so whimsical and free that listeners can just tune it out. That’s not to say that the music is outright boring or “background music,” but in the moments where the band falls flat, the songs can really go in one ear and out the other. However, when the music works, the results are quite compelling. “Property Lines” is a slow-burning rock song that is really a joy to listen to. It captures the intimate vibe the band is clearly pushing for, yet it’s almost rocking, which is a real rarity for the album. The other stand-out track is “(Into the) Atmosphere,” a fun folksy number that sounds like a drowned-out version of Good Old War in the best way possible. It’s electric and enjoyable, and represents what Dusted could be if they sped up the tempo a bit more.
Overall, Total Dust seems like an album that is best suited for a live setting. While the quirky melodies and effects are bit much on record, this would all sound grand on a Friday night with an adult beverage in hand. Don’t let that be a complete slight on Total Dust, as this is a talented side project that needs to do a little bit more to break away from the field.