Yucky Duster are a four-piece from Brooklyn which contains members of Bluffing, The Gradients and Slonk Donkerson. Their sound combines scrappy garage rock and sweet 60s-style sun-drenched pop, as well as a burnt-out punk sensibility (due in no small thanks to the brevity of each song), although things usually remain on the catchy and fun side of the genre. Opener ‘Friend Zone’ is a hectic, 80-second blast of gloomy post-punk-flecked pop, the lyrics dealing with the difference between an emotional connection and a more physical one.
“We discussed our thoughts and our feelings
but that doesn’t make me wanna
stare at the ceiling with you”
‘Flip Flop’ is a lean and bright song about falling for a jerky guy with jerky friends (one who wears flip flops), while ‘Construction Man’ is slightly off-kilter pop which accelerates and decelerates throughout its minute and a half run-time. “I think you’ve got a real good case of the bads”, goes the song of the same name, “Call your mother call your doctor you’re sad, you can’t make thing you can’t break things so instead you feel bad”. This is a bummer pop song that feels somehow uplifting, drawing solidarity from the act of hearing that other people sometimes feel down too. ‘Break Your Phone’ is a sub-one-minute punk song before ‘Blue Elvis’, with its slow, sidling start, and ‘Donny S Hits Zack Up About a Job’, a rather specific song about the awkwardness that arises when a friend/acquaintance asks you to recommend them for a job. From here, the punky elements of the album are dialled back almost entirely on stand-out ‘Gofer’, a glorious two minute pop song of unrequited love:
“I’ve been hanging around
(just because you told me to)
I’ve been hanging around
but how long, how long
is too long?”
There’s an insistent drumbeat and fuzzy, basement-recorded vibe on ‘Paul Revere’, an angry, mean song punctuated with moments of silence and the repeated cry of “do you really think you’re that good looking?”, before things brighten on closer ‘Seashell Song’, where Black and Gaster’s vocals bounce around off one another with thoughts on summer wanderings (“Does it ever cease to be exploration? Or can it only lead to a permanent vacation?”).
The album rattles through in almost no time at all (under twenty minutes), but has enough vim and vigour to ensure you go straight for that repeat button. Yucky Duster’s music is undoubtedly rough around the edges, but that’s a quality that works in their favour. If you want to hear pop songs that have been smoothed and slicked to within an inch of their lives then move along. But if you want to hear a bunch of people having a blast with their friends, then step right in, Yucky Duster are the band for you.
You can order Yucky Duster on cassette via Birdtapes.