Review Summary: An album that has snow cones for eye balls, candy canes for arms and shoots colour when it talks, yet it's track-list is more like a long, rainy day.
Reviewing Dustin Wong’s ‘Infinite Love’ isn’t easy.
So, let me begin by saying that Dustin Wong is the guitarist and co-founder of art rock band ‘Ponytail’ and indie band ‘Ecstatic Sunshine’ and this is his new solo effort, ‘Infinite Love’. An 80 minute wonder built purely with guitar effects and looping, soaked in sugar and positivity.
The album itself is two tracks long, respectively titled ‘Brother’ and ‘Sister’. Each track is 40 minutes and 30 seconds long. You see, that’s the difficulty in terms of reviewing this album, its structure. Unlike a normal artist, Dustin Wong has decided to test ones attention span with ‘Digital Love’ in the form of track-listing. Now, don’t get me wrong, both ‘Brother’ and ‘Sister’ are long, but within each track , the songs diverse, swing and swoop into different melodies, each being rather a delight moving from one up-beat, wide eyed build to another. There is simply no faulting Dustin Wong’s work within the LP.
Though this is exactly where I’m torn. Does one judge his work based on the content you are offered or for those who have the attention span to withstand it? Much like many treats in life, ‘Infinite Love’ is a sugar rush. However, unlike bands such as ‘Los Campesinos!’ or even ‘Ponytail’, Dustin Wong has decided to separate himself from offering you such ability to take your sugar, dissolve your teeth in it and leave.
NO! He screams in the form of his wailing guitar, you must sit and listen through the entire 40 minute session for the entire experience. Equally, this is the genius in ‘Infinite Love’. Dustin Wong offers you music not in the form of a track list but in the form of a session. It’s a more intimate offering. It’s you, Dustin and his guitar.
So, what I mean to say is, don’t enter into the world of ‘Infinite Love’ expecting your standard 10 track LP, this is totally different.
Dustin Wong describes his bold choice in track-listing as a journey; one which I feel can destroy the act of skipping a particular track on the album. (Though to be honest, nothing in this LP is worth skipping). ‘Brother’ and ‘Sister’ have the same beginning and the same ending. However both tracks have different paths to take. It is up to you how you want to live out your experience in ‘Infinite Love’. You may want to one day listen to ‘Brother’ another day listen to ‘Sister’ or maybe even both.
Let me move on by discussing the two tracks themselves ‘Brother’ and ‘Sister’.
Alright, where to begin? Brother is the more dangerous and experimental track. With odd endings, constant buzzing toward the end and obscurities that make one question what instrument he is really using as the entire album sounds as if he is playing music on a candy cane and a light-saber.
A weird concept to the album is offering you some sections of ‘Brother’ are also within ‘Sister’ though because of the track-list you forget. Both tracks are fantastic musically that I can only summarise as a one man orchestra. The amount of depth and texture to the album is undeniably fantastic. There are never moments of tired waiting. You are constantly being indulged within Dustin Wong’s colourful life and the wonderful world he has invented in ‘Infinite Love’, which is necessary considering the prior mentioning of the track-list.
‘Sister’ is far softer than ‘Brother’ through and through. It’s actually easily to describe as lovely. Much like a flower on the brightest morn you have ever witnessed where the sun shines not just yellow but green, blue, red and purple. The sun catches your eye as you sip your tea and yeah, that’s ‘Sister’. Perfectly composed and balanced in terms of pop and psychedelic.
In terms of influence, I don’t think Dustin Wong had any direct influence, though in terms of similarities, I see a lot of power pop, psychedelic sounds and even post rock from the likes of Explosions In The Sky and Sigur Ros. Sounds similar to that of Avi Buffalo and loosely The Shins can be found as well. Though mainly from his previous bands is where the sounds derive from, which is a nice comparison in terms of expressing Dustin Wong’s creativity within his work.
To some, ‘Infinite Love’ will not be easy to climb through but let me assure you all, for the lucky few who have the ability to travel through the album, you’re going to have a blast. This is nothing short of purely brilliant craftsmanship and skill with the guitar, Dustin Wong’s only instrument of choice.
To further explain my rating, if I haven’t already done so vividly, the album is musically fantastic, one of my favourite albums this year, though my only upset is my ability to feel for others who may dislike Dustin Wong’s experimental idea of ridding his works of track-lists.
But give it a listen, I assure you, somewhere within ‘Infinite Love’, you will smile.