Dusted – Total DustPosted by Kat Taylor
‘Dust’ is indeed a recurring theme in this grainy, guitar-heavy album featuring singer-songwriter Brian Borcherdt (Holy F**k, LIDS) and drummer/producer Leon Taheny (Final Fantasy, Rituals, Bruce Peninsula). From the sound of the songs, every instrument involved in the making of this album must have been covered in dust, as well as the Polyvinyl reps’ headphones when they agreed to release it.
Recorded partially in a small converted garage, it’s easy to see how these two came up with their band moniker and album name. Other songs were created in a rural cabin consisting of a scattered drum kit, a bass synth, and a tambourine. Although they weren’t working with a powerhouse of cutting-edge equipment, the duo had the resources and experience to branch out a little more. Even with Borcherdt’s rockstar croon, which is hardly ancient as he enters his mid-30s, the songs sound old, forgotten, and (you guessed it) dusty.
The inspiration for this cold, bare album is claimed to be Borcherdt’s December jaunt to Nova Scotia. It also should be noted that he is from there. Sleeping in the cold silent night should be no more foreign to him than running in slow motion on the beach was to the cast of Baywatch. True, one can still be inspired by home, but this album doesn’t speak to that. We get all of the chill and none of the memories. Given that small fact, this album seems like a regression, not a progression of Borcherdt’s previous work both as a solo artist and a member of his most well-known band, Holy F**k.
Although Leon Taheny is generally lesser known, he too could have drawn from past experience. He might have been of more service to Borcherdt’s sound if he did some aural house-cleaning before deciding to go unnecessarily raw and strip the paint off the walls.
Even the band’s name is old and dusty. Two record producers, Rollo Armstrong and Mark Bates, created music under the same name more than 10 years ago, receiving marginal acclaim in the UK. Does that make the members of this decade’s Dusted guilty of copyright infringement, plagiarism, and being no-good, dirty, rotten copycats? Nah, it simply shows a lack of innovation that is in constant display throughout this album.
It’s hard to pick a stand-out song, since they all spiral down into an underproduced mess that isn’t even fit for background music. While Total Dust may not be a great addition to one’s music library, it may provide budding musicians inspiration to clean off their instruments and give them the love they deserve.