Boomkat Product Review:
A most welcome, if somewhat overdue second album from Finnish duo The Gentleman Losers, whose eponymous debut set hearts aflutter in the summer of 2006. That first LP's blend of dreamlike faux-vintage instrumentals is carried over to this new set of songs, but there there's a noticeably heightened sense of depth to the writing on Dustland. At first the muffled, anachronistic tone of the album might be likened to the sort of thing Bibio albums encroach upon, but 'Silver Water Ripples' takes us into much more naturalistic, organic terrain, with the ensuing 'Echoing Green' building upon this, suggesting both Colleen's delicately spun loop structures and Vincent Gallo's enduringly brilliant When album. A couple of tracks later, 'Bonetown Boys' finds the band at their very best, calling back into service that creaky old breakbeat from the last album while supplying a quivering blend of instrumentation that sounds like some imaginary Western soundtrack being played out on an old Victrola. Much of the album plays out without any drums, but when a beat does kick in (as on the sublime closing shot, 'Pebble Beach') it melts into the valve-powered heart of the record, adding muscle without breaking the illusion of this music being something dug up many moons ago. Another highlight worth bringing to your attention is 'Farandole', which evokes a '70s horror movie without relying on the schlock and awe of Goblin-style prog synths. The chiming harpsichord melody twinkles spookily through a mesh of lapsteel, rhodes piano and sparse, twanging basslines. It's incredibly lovely, and importantly never really sounds like its been forcibly made to sound aged and weathered; it just does. Similarly cinematic, the blissful, fogged out warble on 'Lullaby Of Dustland' sounds like a Angelo Badalamenti score captured on a decayed 78 - another filtered elegy from a band who specialise in making their music sound like something from a romanticised past. Highly recommended.