The San Jose slowcore trio formed in 1996 and disappeared five years later, leaving behind a legacy of depressive, dissociative lo-fi rock the band’s since described as sounding like “desperate, purring distress.” Then, nearly 20 years later, Duster returned, as if they’d woken up from a long nap into a world that was even more of a bummer than they’d left it. That signature sense of looking at life as if from outside of it persists on the band’s second album since their 2019 return, as they sing about ghosts and shadows and lost memories over guitars that fuzz out into distorted oblivion. But there’s also a newfound coziness to their arrangements, and a sense that even if we live in hell, at least we’re in hell together. As they sing on the bittersweet “New Directions”: “I’ve lost touch, I’ve said too much, been opposites and such/But I’ll take care of all of us.”

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