DUST FROM 1000 YEARS - FAT
If WIlliamsburg, Brooklyn is supposed to be the pulse of the American music scene, then Bloomington, Indiana must be some kind of blood clot or clogged artery. Something about that mixture of soft water, Southern Baptist attitudes and terrible Bob Evans food makes the whole region a less-than-ideal breeding ground for musical creativity. I guess it wouldn’t be too out of sorts to think of Dust From 1000 Years as a turd-blossom; an unexpected gem buried in the acres and acres of knee-deep horse manure.
“Fat” is a track from their most recent record, Marble Memo, and it features an amazing opening set of lyrics and a cool build. It’s also one of the longest cuts on there, with most of the 19 songs falling somewhere between the one and two minute mark. Memo is structured sort of like a concept album, and there are lots of subjects that pop up enough to be themes (laziness, introversion, self-destruction), but you needn’t get too deep into any of that to enjoy it.
Lead singer Ben Rector howls like Daniel Johnston but with none of the anarchy. The group has a cool-headed, low key sound makes me think of some of the indie pop groups that came out of Chicago in the early part of the ’00s, like Bound Stems and especially the now-defunct Chin Up Chin Up. But you get the feeling that Dust From 1000 Years aren’t nearly as humorous as those guys, evidenced by their MySpace page where they list their official website as drinkvault.com. That playful attitude actually acts as a musical advantage; they are very adventurous and willing to experiment with their own formula, often yielding wonderful results.
One of the best choices they make time and time again on Marble Memo is giving their songs some room to breathe. Even though the track times are short, songs rarely just “end,” they trail off with explorations of noise and musical improvisation. Their instincts are great, their craft is exceptional, so why aren’t Dust From 1000 Years the next big thing?
Oh, right. Indiana. I don’t suppose the fast paced Bloomington live scene of has any room to accommodate this kind of music. What are you doing, boys? Get the fuck out of the Hoosier State and make for the coast where they’ll understand and appreciate you!
Marble Memo is out now on Moon Jaw Records. Buy it.