Yucky Duster’s debut album is filled with embittered, hard-truth moments that force you to sit up straight and take notice. The Brooklyn band — made up of members from Bluffing, the Gradients, and Slonk Donkerson — writes songs based around contemporary frustrations: the self-explanatory “Friend Zone,” the stalled job market on “Donny S Hits Zack Up For A Job,” the tortured cellular anxiety of “Break Your Phone.” There’s a caustic levity to Yucky Duster, grounded by the conversational style of dual vocalists Madeline Babuka Black and Maggie Gaster, who commiserate with each other across pinched guitars and nervy drumming.
Case in point: the devilishly satisfying “Paul Revere,” which asks the song’s subject, “Do you really think you’re that good looking?” before laying into them for being a pompous creep: “Yes, I know you were on TV — that doesn’t mean you can say rude things to me,” Gaster sings. Babuka Black interjects: “Wait! I wanna say something… I felt your dick two years ago, and it’s small as fuck.” These candid moments give the album an improvisational quality, sort of like you’re just goofing around and catching up with your friends while digging into life’s deeper injustices.
Similar sparks occur on “Friend Zone,” which asks “Does that make me a bitch? Does that make me a bitch?,” mimicking society’s snotty tone when a woman doesn’t want to reciprocate a man’s advances and just wants to stay friends. “Construction Man” sees the whole band chiming in, turning catcall distress into an army of unfettered voices. “Blue Elvis” starts off as a sparkling doo-wop but soon descends into a twitchy punk song about wanting someone you know is bad for you; “Real Good Case Of The Bads” is an acute examination of depression and isolation packaged in a warm hug.
Yucky Duster is in and out in under 20 minutes, but the band packs enough variety and compulsively listenable moments throughout that make it a pleasure to keep returning for more. Listen to the whole thing below.