[sic] Magazine

I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness – Dust.

Cult Austin band I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness return with a new album very different to their debut. It is hardly a surprise. An eight year gap may not be a record, or a first but it remains significant. What we do not know are the reasons why. Did the process of writing and/or recording actually take eight years or did the group go on hiatus during that time? There seems to be no word on this. The website simply announces them as “re-emerging from the shadows”. Is there something that they do not want us to know? Or just keeping the mystery intact? Whichever, during that waiting period the world has moved on and so have ILBICD.

On first listen I really thought Dust had lost some of the bands sheen. Fear Is On Our Side had immediacy – its sinewy, gothic-tinged post punk gripped us from the very first spin. Indeed Fear…s opening salvo was a veritable hit parade with highly seductive, clean-sounding production. Dust is much more of a slow burn. True ‘Faust’ zips along with urgency, a splendid choice as opener but thereafter follows a sequence of languid, hazy tracks that I would normally associate with second halves of albums. It is odd sequencing to say the least. ‘Stay Awake’ is a fine track in itself, its circular meanderings recalling obscure 80s act Butterfly Child. However positioned in second place ‘Stay Awake’ loses all the momentum ‘Faust’ created. I will not say that the sequencing doesn’t work but it sure takes some getting used to. ‘Heat Hand Up’ contains guitar swathes which recall the blissed out ‘We Choose Faces’ from the debut. ‘Safely’ even sounds a bit Cocteau Twins but ‘Come Undone’ represents the true second start for the album. Like a sprinter having double faulted, they go back and re-explode with precision and power. ‘Come Undone’ is a triumph, a gold medallist for true.

Dust may be recognisably new, but ILYBICD remain recognisably themselves. Those A Flock Of Seagulls guitars are still present and correct and singer, Christian Goyer is still employing that ‘faraway boy lost’ voice. Strangely for something so different sounding Paul Barker (Ministry) remains on production duties for this sophomore release. It feels like a different producer though. The mix on Dusk is less spacious, more intricate than Fear... Less ‘Hannett’, more ‘Eno’. The sweeping ’69th St Bridge’ could have been cut from Talking HeadsRemain In Light. Rumbling closing track ‘WAYSD’ is somewhat ponderous but it doesn’t matter. After eight years (nine really) I am happy to have ILYBICD back in my life. Dusk isn’t Fear… version 2.0 but if we really stop to think, why would we even want that? Something fresh that pushes the needle and augments the Texans portfolio is much more interesting. Well ladies and gentlemen, Dusk does this.

Welcome (back), stranger. Don’t leave it so long next time, huh.

Official webpage

Artist at Secretly Canadian