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Yucky Duster - "Duster's Lament" | Album Review

by Allison Kridle

It seems like the sun has finally unshackled itself from this endless winter, because I’m starting to feel warm. But, just maybe, it is because Yucky Duster’s new EP Duster’s Lament is constantly playing in my headphones. I’ve been walking around Brooklyn today (Yucky Duster’s stomping grounds) in 40-degree weather, however, so I guess it’s the latter.

Releasing their first EP shortly after their self-titled LP, the indie pop punk quartet have graced the record with jangly guitar riffs, light harmonious vocals, and lyrics that will make you say “same.” However, the witty foursome still heighten our awareness as they mention higher concepts like gentrification, finding where you belong, and intimacy. The first track “Duster’s Lament,” introduces listeners to this mindset with a poppy yet mellow melody and a consistent rhythm you won’t be able to shake. It all comes together with the pleasant chirping vocals, “I don’t mean to be a drag/ I’m just having one of those years.” Like I said -- same.

The next track “Thaw” is quite the power pop ballad, with highs and lows in rhythm and in mood. The song features an abrupt and distinguished melody that includes uplifting surf pop sounds; the juxtaposition is refreshing yet fitting. From the way I see it, the song is about trying to know someone who is elusive and even unfeeling at times.

The band’s dynamic composing grows even stronger in “The Ropes.” It’s sweetly textured with energetic, harmonious vocals. At one point the surf-y riffs float on their own. The upbeat, ocean-side vibe transitions on to the next track “Different People,” where they talk about how people undergo ignorant and even insincere changes. Yucky Duster ask, “How can all these faces be comical and happy all the time?”

Let’s make like this brilliant playful band and close out with “Elementary School Dropout.” The soft wailing guitar and shout-singing vocals delicately melt my face off, and I would dance around if I weren’t buried under my bed covers right now. Blaring Yucky Duster triggers joy even when the happiness feels wrong or confusing at times. They know exactly how to break out their shimmering guitar and genuine lyricism that destroys the divide between you and the rest of the world. Maybe not all of us can get by with the artificial sunshine created by a pop punk group, but if there’s one band that can vanquish the cold it’s Yucky Duster.