On their latest records stoner/doom groups like King Buffalo and Elephant Tree have been flirting around with elements from the shoegaze genre. Oakland, California based Dustern takes this ‘doomgaze’ a little further. On their second full-length River Of Years this quintet really embrace the dreamy vibe of the shoegaze genre and combines it with heavy riffs and hefty rhythms.
River Of Years comes across as a very emotional and atmospheric album. The vocals have a lot to do with that. LiHe Han mixes her clean, angelic-styled vocals with raw screams of emotion, therefore setting different moods within the same composition. But the instrumentation also has a big part in creating the different atmospheres. In a song like Flood And Light there’s a beautiful mix of instruments leading to a great build up. The use of acoustic and electric guitars, bass and drums, varied vocal styles and a mangnificent saxophone part leads to an awesome climax.
Dustern also integrates a lot of synthesizer and keyboard parts in their songs. The sound of the Korg M1 is always great to hear, but they really did the instrument justice in these compositions. The fact that the band features two guitarists also is a big plus here. There’s a lot of room for spheric acoustic guitar parts, fuzzy riffs and melodic solo’s, adding to the dynamics of the tracks.
Dustern really nailed it when it comes to creating emotional and atmospheric music. The use of instruments and the way the band combined these instruments is admirable. There’s some room for improvement here and there, but overall River Of Years is an unique record that you’ll just need to hear. So go check out their music if you will.
Dan Brownson (bass guitar, Bass VI, upright bass)
Derek DeRoche (guitar, Korg M1, Yamaha VSS-30, organ)
LiHe Han – (vocals, Korg M1, lyrics)
Kuranes – (lead guitar)
Patrick Spain (drums)