I was worried about this one. Rustie’s debut, Glass Swords, released in 2011, was one of my favourite albums of the decade so far; a true indication of where the rising scene in dance and club music could truly go if it went in the right direction. 40 minutes of euphoric noise, the aural equivalent on being on pure ecstasy, something many ravers had been waiting for since The Avalanches stopped releasing music. So how could Rustie follow such a seminal debut up? As we have seen too many times before, artists with incredible debuts fall short all too often.
So what a pleasant surprise this was. Just to get this out the way, this is no Glass Swords, it is different in a lot of ways, and to be honest it’s probably not quite as good. But saying that, it really depends on what you’re looking for in a new Rustie album. If you want to old produced-to-no-end old Rustie there’s that, in the songs ‘Raptor’ and ‘Let’s Spiral’ among others. If you want proof that Rustie is developing as an artist and following the modern scene there’s that too, in ‘Up Down’ (featuring a rather terrible feature in D Double E) and in the first track, ‘Workship’ (which wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Random Access Memories).
However it feels as if Rustie could have done better in areas. ‘Up Down’ is just awful, ‘He Hate Me’, among other moments, is one-dimensional, and one of the reasons Glass Swords was such as impressive debut was that it had such depth, especially in a scene that is so often criticised for being the opposite.
The album redeems itself with the last three frankly excellent tracks, the title track especially, but overall this album has too many flat moments to be as good as Rustie’s debut, or indeed, as good as many people hoped.