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4.6 out of 5 stars14
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 27 September 2011
I've been looking forward to this album coming out for a while, being a big fan of their first two albums. I wasn't sure if it would live up to their last album "Neptune" though think if anything I think it betters it. Vocals are fantastic throughout the album; Leila Moss uses a higher vocal range than on previous albums on a number of the tracks to breathtakingly good effect, particularly Running Fire and Villian (best song I've heard all year!)The faster more upbeat tracks such as Surrender and Everybody's Under Your Spell are most similar to those on their last album, and show Duke Spirit's pop sensibilities at their best. Album opener, Cherry Tree, sounds slightly off-beat, has a great bass riff, and bluesy chorus that makes for a really refreshing listen. Northbound is brilliantly anthemic and proves to be one of the albums highest highlights. All round this is a really strong album, and no bad tracks to my ears. I hope this album provides the break through this band deserve.
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on 25 September 2011
For those of you that like your british indie with a Scandanavian front then look no further than this new Duke Spirit CD.
If you saw them on Jools... you'll know that they are rockin harder than ever.
They have not lost the melodic edge. Also there is great variety in the textures and tempos. Leila's voice is as smoky as ever.
Pity there was no special edition
Now all we need is Fields to top Everything Last Winter.
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on 11 October 2011
I first heard these recently on Jools Holland and was quite taken with them,so i bought two of their cds.
The first one i bought was CUTS ACROSS THE LAND,which i really liked,kind of rocky,but with an interesting twist that it's hard to put your finger on,then i bought this. Wow,they really are as good as i thought i heard on Jools. A really strong album,great rifs,lyrically intersting,with what i can only describe as a kind of haunting feel to it all. When it rocks,it really rocks,but the slower tracks are really cool too. I am very much a lover of music in general,and when i hear something i find of interest i look for the artist's material and sometimes i'm a little disappointed,this time however,i'm not.
Im loving SWEET BITTER BLUE,EVERYBODY'S UNDER YOUR SPELL and the grand finisher of HOMECOMING,but all of it impresses and no doubt i'll soon be loving everything they have to offer.
Don't you just love it when a newly heard band is as good as you hoped upon first listen,what a rush!
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on 2 June 2012
One of the albums of the year from one of Britain's most underrated bands. I was very impressed with the songs they played on Jools and On Track and was delighted to find even better tracks on here. The album displays a wide range of influences, which gives the songs an immediate familiarity and thus an instant appeal. It also means there's a huge amount of variety, and they draw inspiration from some unexpected sources, such as U2's Bullet the Blue Sky (Bodies) and Echobelly's Worms and Angels (De Lux).

The album's great achievement is to create a dark and haunting atmosphere, whilst at the same time being thoroughly uplifting, making it a joy to listen to. This is down to the strength of the songwriting and perhaps explains why each album takes them 3 years to produce! The band's greatest asset is Liela's vocals. She has a powerful and distinctive voice and sings with great feeling. Her delivery oozes confidence and charisma throughout and displays great versatility to suit each song perfectly.

Every track on here, apart from the last one, deserves its place on the album and there are many standouts. CHERRY TREE starts the album with all guns blazing, a killer guitar riff and punchy chorus. Definitely one to play on repeat! PROCESSION is dark and menacing and very original. VILLAIN is one of the most beautiful songs you'll hear all year, piano based and featuring a stunning vocal performance from Liela. DON'T WAIT is another gorgeous track, very melodic as it builds into a satisfying climax. SURRENDER is deliciously dark, all driving drums and guitars with haunting vocals and a belting chorus. And that's just the first 5 tracks!

It's a shame when great music like this doesn't get the audience it so richly deserves...
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on 5 October 2011
The first time I heard this cd I was disappointed. Cuts Across the Land is excellent, Neptune is good and I heard this and thought: okay at best. But no, this is a rare thing in indie music: an album that improves with listening and merits concentration. There are different layers here and it's clear the band - after a minor change in line-up - have spent time on it and made something that is more than just thrashing drums and guitars.
Good stuff.
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on 21 November 2011
After somewhere close to 45 years listening to straight guitar/drums bands I very rarely hear a new g/d band to interest me. Of the last decade or so Duke Spirit are just one of probably two 'new straight' guitar/drums bands that have interested me. Bruiser adds to the quality that was delivered on Cuts and Neptune. Punchy rock/indie, great writing, neat little hooks, great instrumentation topped off by that ace female, rasping vocal. Absolute travesty that this band doesn't score with a top 20 album. Cherish them.
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on 8 January 2012
I bought this album after seeing The Duke Spirit on Jools Holland and hearing Candy Tree on Radio 6. It hasn't disappointed as all tracks are excellent (my favourites are Cherry Tree & Running Fire) and like all good albums seems to get better with every listen. Most of the tracks are driven forward by the bass and drums which contrast exquisitely with Liela's vocals (which vary between husky and angelic). I've not listened to their earlier albums so can't compare this one to them, but would recommend this album.
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on 26 May 2016
There is a touch of The Kills to this album. That means it's definitely got my vote. In fairness to a great band (The Duke Spirit) it resembles The Kills' better stuff, but perhaps with a little more invention. I thought Neptune was a more imaginative and accomplished album. But Bruiser does carry forward much of the band's undeniable charisma.
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on 23 August 2012
This album is well worth getting for the tracks 'Surrender' and 'Everybody's under your spell' The latter should have been used for the Olympics for the lyrics "I could pin a medal on you"
The band features the unique vocals of lead singer and musician Liela Moss (well worth seing live) with a good solid rock backing.
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on 29 June 2016
For some unknown reason The Duke Spirit missed my musical radar, despite me being a huge fan of female-fronted rock bands. This album is the perfect blend of rock/ blues/ grunge/ punk and I'm making up for lost time by playing this and earlier release Cuts Across The Land on a loop, at maximum volume.
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