Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Horrors and The Duke Spirit

9. The Horrors- Skying
At first, the latest Horrors record was a bit of a disappointment. It was interesting enough, and was definitely the latest lateral and interesting sonic gear shift from the band now becoming known for being consistently in flux. But I loved their last record. I was blown away by the production, the restraint, and the strength that they had finally wrestled onto a full release.

On Skying, much of that was gone. The darkness had been replaced with a sense of openness, as if sunlight had finally made it through the window after one of the darkest nights the Horrors had seen. But with the arrival of the dawn, a new and different Horrors had arrived. Much of this comes from their musical touchstone trajectory. They have done their Nick Cave and The Birthday Party and Bauhaus and were moving on (in chronological order) to the mid-late 80s. So out wen the tight black swatches and in came the paisleys, the band collars, the baggy psychedelia of early Primal Scream or the shimmer and shine of Talk Talk or Echo and the Bunnymen. It's not the evil I love, but a totally commendable shift to a spot where very few are right this second. Good for them for avoiding the crowds.




10. The Duke Spirit- Bruiser
Another recent past favorite, The Duke Spirit have plateaued. That's not particularly a bad thing. While others struggle to make more than one good record, The Duke Spirit have now come to a point where they don't need to change a formula. Their songwriting, attitude, look and stamina are above and beyond most of their peers, so they can now fashion something all their own in the space that they have made. With fewer rockers, than their last release, Bruiser still brings what makes this band worthy. Pop hooks with muscles, and vulnerable moments with just enough of a pout throughout, Bruiser cements the fact that this is one of the best rock band out there right now. Keep on keepin' on.

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