Dopamine Loop by LusterRelease date: April 21, 2023
Label: Funeral Party Records
What does it mean to be ‘a true’ shoegaze band these days? Is it simply recreating the sound of heyday artists like My Bloody Valentine or Lilys, or is it combining the recreation of that sound with touches of something else, without ‘sacrificing’ the core?
It seems that Los Angeles band Luster, try to achieve the latter on their second album Dopamine Loops. Actually, Adrian Castillo and Alvin Carillo who started the band had envisioned a combination of MBV-style guitar sound and electronics right from the start.
Yet it is on Dopamine Loops that they have achieved a good balance between the two, neither of the elements confronting or confusing each other, as the sound of the guitars is supported by the beats and subtle electronics and as was the case with MBV, submerged vocals that give the music its essential tone.
Some might question Luster’s originality, as their guitar sound and the treatment of the vocals is quite close to both MBV and Lilys, but, then, many shoegazers (and others) have questioned Lilys’ originality at their prime, and now are hailing their music as ‘classic’.
The thing is, Luster has that ‘key’ shoegaze sound down to a pat, and the addition of subtle electronics gives their music that additional touch that makes it stand out.