It’s taken Dustbloom nearly three years to solidify themselves as a band—not just in nailing down a lineup, but also finding a musical style to fill their creative ambitions. Fans who pick up Dustbloom’s first official album, Keeping the Black Dog at Bay—released July 3—will discover that the Salt Lake City hardcore band has daringly taken its sound in a more inventive direction.
Forming Dustbloom after the breakup of the band Arches in 2011, Ian Cooperstein and Cameron Jorgensen put together the post-hardcore group with a rotating lineup of musicians. Over the next 18 months, every time the band started moving forward, a member would disagree with their sound and leave. After struggling creatively and scrapping most of their songs, the group could muster only three tracks on a split EP with Huldra in 2012.
“The band was a learning process for us,” Cooperstein says. “There was lot of having no idea how to do tasks outside of just writing songs—like marketing ourselves, coordinating practices, booking shows and writing an actual cohesive record.”
It wasn’t until they found guitarist Christopher Peterson and bassist Chris Jensen near the end of 2012 that they got to work on Keeping the Black Dog at Bay. The group started writing songs with a heavier theme and tone, and incorporated new methods in their 14-month writing/recording session, including newer tunings and a baritone guitar.
“When Chris joined the band, it was a game changer sonically,” Cooperstein says. “Peterson brought sludgy, heavy riffs and haunting lead parts, and Jensen brought some of the most intelligent bass playing I’ve ever seen.”
Keeping the Black Dog at Bay goes from thick and brutal in tracks like “Vowelphabet” and “Pneumonia” to ethereal and eerie in “Prokofiev” and “Iin,” crafted so that listeners are taken through an array of emotions in a few note changes. This isn’t just an album; it’s a passion project of metal, hardcore and rock from the heart.
“I’d rather have a dope record that I’m proud of than some half-ass contribution that I have trouble standing behind,” Cooperstein says. “We all needed to learn some serious lessons, from performance to tone engineering to song writing. I have a feeling that, in the future, I’ll look back at making this record as ‘the good ol’ days.’ ”
The Urban Lounge
241 S. 500 East
Thursday, July 3, 8:30 p.m. / $5