by Jordan Weinstock (@weinstockjordan)
The spirit of riot grrrl never died, and indeed, it is probably stronger now than ever before. Yucky Duster are a pretty good indication of this. The Brooklyn supergroup of sorts (the band features members of Bluffing, The Gradients, and the ever so greatly named - Slonk Donkerson) are firm believers in self-respect, a concept many people I know have struggled with since middle school. This band was not placed on this earth purely for the entertainment of others, and it's not up to them to prove that to you.
The album starts off with one of the most powerful and direct choruses I have heard in a long time, “does that make me a bitch?” The refrain is less of a question and more of a statement of defiance. Does being who you want to be and who you are, whether or not that fits into someone else’s ideal world, make you a bad person? We are taught to believe that being there for and true to others is the most important thing we can do but before we can do that we have to be true to ourselves. That's exactly what Yucky Duster feels like. The album is a testament to doing what you want.
Yucky Duster seems to remain uncategorizable, no matter how many times I listen to it (the album’s Bandcamp tags ‘doowop,’ and ‘butt rock’ obfuscate clear definition in this case). It’s not that there aren’t certain ideas present or sounds I can refer to, but more that the album seems to resist such a task almost naturally. With guitars that constantly pan left and right (see “Flip Flops” for the best example of this), deceptively simple bass lines, and vocals that pierce through your mind in just the right way, listening to Yucky Duster makes me almost balk at the thought of attempting to define it. It’s an album that I simply want to sit down and enjoy, without worrying about how so-called “cool” it is or how good it is by some authoritative and utterly arbitrary standards. I want to sit down and hear out what Madeline Babuka-Black and Maggie Gaster have to say. Whether we are expressing teenage angst, or summer time happiness, or political discontent, all we want as people is to be heard. Yucky Duster clearly have ideas to get out and points to get across and for today at the very least I am all ears.