Rustie’s first album Glass Swords had a definite air of the apocalyptic about it. Not in a nihilistic sense but rather a completely celebratory one. People talk of difficult second albums, how about difficult questions?
So then, what comes after the end of the world? Well, I suppose to be consistent with this narrative we have this, Rustie’s latest album, Green Language.
Rustie’s given over half the album’s run time to non-instrumental tracks. This gives the album a nice bit of variety, particularly texturally, but in doing so Rustie’s thrust himself into the background, essentially relinquishing perceived ownership of the tracks. In spite of this, Danny Brown remains a perfect match for Rustie’s production style and his track ‘Attak’ is by far the most intense track on the album thanks largely to Brown’s to keep up with Rustie as he ramps things up. On the whole the rest of these tracks manage to succeed as tracks particularly the D Double E featuring ‘Up Down’.
Rustie is still an expert when it comes to manufacturing tension but the release at the end of it is always a disappointment; the baffling guitars at the end of ‘A Glimpse’, or the complete non-endings of ‘Attak’ or ‘Workship’, can’t help but make me feel that the album is slightly undercooked. Even on the more fully fleshed out instrumental tracks ‘Raptor’ and ‘Velcro’ there’s something unpleasantly saccharine about the sound used, an effect amplified by the presence of more naturalistic sounding tracks like ‘Paradise Stone’ and ‘Green Language’.
Though never bad, Green Language is an album lacking in the “oh shit!” moments that made the first so exciting. The album plays out like a self fulfilling prophecy, with many of the tracks not reaching the heights they themselves promise. If this is an answer to the question “what happens after the end of world?” I sincerely hope it’s wrong.