Rustin Man: Drift Code (Domino) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Rustin Man

Drift Code


Jan 30, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The way that Paul Webb, aka Rustin Man and previously bassist for Talk Talk, intones the word “joy” in “Brings Me Joy” made me do a search to confirm that David Bowie was not in fact on this album. It’s not just the weathered and wavering vocal delivery that owes a significant debt to the late saint of pop, but the muted jazz palate and solemn pastoralism mixed with a jaded sense of nostalgia all can be seen as extensions of the singular aesthetic cultivated by Bowie at the end of his life. And that wouldn’t be a bad thing! It is hardly surprising when you consider that they were both once part of highly idealistic and romantic projects.

Reflecting on the past, Webb finds that only a shattered sense of self emerges that keeps him bound to a daily exertion against the impossible odds of achieving a unified sense of self. “Our Tomorrows” is a lounge jazz number that mixes equal parts lethargy and epiphany to describe the odd sense of liberation that is entailed from knowing that your direction is not wrong because you simply did not have the intention of going any particular way. “The World’s in Town” is similarly concerned with this paradoxical intoxication of restraint that in some ways informs our desires to not be completely divorced from all attachments. Through a gently phased vocal and over a plodding piano Webb sings of dissolving into something bigger and how scary that is even as it welcomes: “No need to cry little darling/There’s nothing left to even say/I’m more than dust riding the starlight/I’ll never get truly lost again.” (

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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