Termination Dust
Growing Down


3.5
great

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
January 26th, 2020 | 24 replies


Release Date: 01/24/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A bustling indie-rock album that demonstrates a nose for eccentricity as well as stark vulnerability.

Brimming with quirky energy, transient song lengths, and amateurish vocals, Growing Down feels like a breath of fresh air within the indie-rock scene. Termination Dust – an Alaskan trio named after “a light, high-altitude snowfall that indicates the end of summer” – has dropped its third record since signing to Glacial Pace Recordings (home to Modest Mouse among others) in 2017, and it’s quite possibly the album that will see this band transform from a total unknown into a shed name (the nickname I’m going to temporarily lend to bands that stand a chance of modest popularity, but that will never be household names, and can’t be garage names as it implies a genre!) Lead vocalists and guitarists Jaybird Parkhurst and Stefanie Vigoren wail on in pitches of varying agreeability, while crafting a slightly imperfect balance between melodic and murky. Between its raw candidness, the occasional twinkling of electric guitars, and its overt willingness to dive right into tidal waves of drums/guitars, Growing Down could almost be mistaken for an emo record in the vein of The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – only with Modest Mouse influences and decidedly messier than either.

Speaking of candidness, what really shocked me about Growing Down was how honest and unexpectedly meaningful the lyrics are, especially given the flippant mood of the songs. When Parkhurst admits “I never want to hurt you…I’m starting to wonder if it’s all I can do” on ‘Fog’ – which feels like a seminal release for the band – it’s an early turning point for Growing Down, which turns on a dime from bouncy/lighthearted to this feeling of “oh, damn – this is gonna hit home ain’t it?” It’s a sensation that never again escapes Termination Dust’s grasp, as they convey everything from giddy new relationship feels on ‘Pull & Peel’ (“Seconds, minutes, hours, and days – it’s getting pretty difficult to differentiate when I’m so close to you”) to the devastating lows of unrequited love on ‘Indifferent’ (“Your friendship means more to me than anything, I still wish you’d think of me differently”). While relational motifs certainly pop up throughout, Growing Down isn’t entirely a love/breakup album. There’s delicate moments such as ‘Still Sleeping’, which see Parkhurst and co. grapple with the death of a close friend: “Am I gutted, am I numb – you went to sleep and you never woke up / I made it to thirty years old…why me? I could have died instead.” The earnest delivery only sharpens her words, taking relatively common themes and turning them into penetrating weapons.

Growing Down isn’t going to define a year or blaze a new genre path, but it wasn’t meant to. It’s a bustling indie-rock album that demonstrates a nose for eccentricity as well as stark vulnerability, giving the experience an energy and freshness that many similar outings lack. Growing Down isn’t afraid to get into the nitty gritty, wearing its heart on its sleeve while alternating between sweet, sugary melodies and raw, crunchy guitars/drums. When you add up all the little two minute ditties into a summative experience, it’s way more fulfilling than it has any right to be.



s
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user ratings (12)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
January 26th 2020


33646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is my personal favorite from the record although there's a handful of gems:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l63Fh6OYaA

Digging: Ellis - Born Again

WatchItExplode
January 26th 2020


7886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good shit Sowing. I'm going to watch these gals play a community art center for eight bucks in a couple weeks and wig out all the 14-year-olds who have no idea who they are. Promises to be an absolute blast.

CookieFactory79
January 26th 2020


126 Comments


um hey cool didn't realise we were llowed to post 2 revs in a day. can i do this? got a lot of big ideas yknow yeh? can't find the pos button um

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 27th 2020


33646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@WatchItExplode: That's awesome and I'm insanely jealous. These girls seem like they would absolutely rock out live.

WatchItExplode
January 27th 2020


7886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Playing with a group called Double Grave that are more about the noisey guitars but also seem worthwhile. The spirit of indie is alive and well.

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 27th 2020


33646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Can't stop jamming Fog and the closer. I think they're emerging as early favorites here.

WatchItExplode
January 27th 2020


7886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

There's lots of quality here some of its just so insanely catchy

TabulaRasa6
January 29th 2020


524 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Planning to check this out later.

Digging: Model/Actriz - No

WatchItExplode
January 29th 2020


7886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Do that

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 29th 2020


33646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Shame more people aren't checking this out. Some lovably amateurish indie-pop/rock here.

WatchItExplode
January 29th 2020


7886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I know. Even Keeley Forsyth has like triple the ratings of this, lol.

Sunnyvale
January 30th 2020


1387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Uneven but great album

WatchItExplode
January 30th 2020


7886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Any favorites?

Sunnyvale
January 30th 2020


1387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

After three listens, Streetlights, Fog, and Pull & Peel are really sticking out as the early highlights

FuzzyThoughts
January 30th 2020


32 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This definitely deserves more attention. Thanks for reviewing it, Sowing.



My favorites after 4 listens are: Deep Deep Deep, Fog, and Afraid

WatchItExplode
January 30th 2020


7886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The little affectation on the end of the I can feel it from my head to toe woooos line in the first song is adorable. I knew pretty much immediately I would like this. There are no songs I don't enjoy here and the mix of slower and more upbeat tunes is nice.

TabulaRasa6
February 3rd 2020


524 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

People really are missing out. This is great.

WatchItExplode
February 6th 2020


7886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

So these gals got bumped from the community art center they were going to play for $8 for a documentary film festival. On the bright side, they are playing an underground house venue for $5 instead. Also, Strange Ranger and Horse Jumper of Love are playing there the first week in April. Also Great Grandpa played there just before they released Four of Arrows last year.



I think I've found my musical oasis.

FuzzyThoughts
February 7th 2020


32 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sounds like it should be a sweet gig. As a side note, I went to Great Grandpa's album release show a few months ago and they were absolutely incredible.

Sunnyvale
February 13th 2020


1387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's crazy how much this album has grown on me, might be my favorite of the year so far



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