(review also covers <Cuts Across The Land> single)
My introduction to The Duke Spirit was truly accidental. Probably it's thanks to the fact that I'm such a Rough Trade whore. Not only is it my favourite label but it has a great variety of albums that are hard to get on this rock. Anyway on opening the package a little blue cardboard sleeve slipped out.
It was The Duke Spirit's first CD single (following a mini album and a vinyl single) `Dark is Light Enough'. ( By the way, I was charged for this) Now I have read about this London five piece and I was curious about them. On playing that single I felt like I was slapped and had a bucket of ice cold water chucked at me. This was BRILLIANT the music was gutsy and had a stylish swagger and the tunes? Damn those melodies must have been made out of glue or something cause they stuck to my head.
After this little life changing experience I went to tell the head honcho of alternative Malta and after a bit of wrangling we managed to get the next two singles by this gem of a band. `Cuts Across the Land' and `Lion Rip' The question is. Have the band kept up this brilliance?
The Answer is a big fat... YES. The two singles are a progression in sound, tunes everything. Even frontwoman Leila Moss' voice gets more `PJ. Harvey' by Lion Rip'.
`Cuts Across the Land' Starts of with a drumbeat and the song lurches into life. Especially when Moss intones `Can I suck you in?' complemented by a dirty riff, yes, it does conjure images.The single is backed up by the lullabyesque `Souvenir'. How yin and yang is that?- The `Spirit can not only rock but they can roll too.
`Lion Rip' and it's b-side `Now be Still' is just as rootsy and has more bravado than a room full of Liam Gallaghers. Riffs galore, big drums and an instant mosh factor all incorporated into four handy minutes. Savour.
I just feel that this band will set the world alight. With their debut proper coming out soon I think ears will prick up and love this band. Dukes? Nah these are the heirs to the throne!