The Duke Spirit - Neptune

The Duke Spirit - Neptune

Last time around, it was very easy to forget The Duke Spirit even existed.


Last time around, it was very easy to forget The Duke Spirit even existed, their garage-rock ultimately proving not as immediate, complex, or entertaining as the remnants of 2001’s raw explosion. Most of the attention bestowed upon the band was because (shock horror) their lead singer was a pretty blonde who dared to rock. Thankfully in 2008 we’re over that gender-bashing bollocks.

The Duke Spirit have been allowed to let loose on ‘Neptune’, sounding neither contrived nor controlled; it’s laid-back rock ‘n roll that sits between the Spector-indulged retro-pop of The Raveonettes‘Pretty In Black’, and The Kills‘No Wow’, all throaty vocals and scuzzy guitar lines. Single ‘The Step And The Walk’ and EP lead effort ‘Lassoo’ sound wonderfully timeless: it’s as easy to imagine them a forgotten 80s gem as brand new.

It’s a confident album, the songs sounding every bit the West Coast environment they were recorded in, producer Chris Goss helping the band’s sound mature and become fuller.

However, there’s little between tracks - the mood is so consistent throughout much of ‘Neptune’ that the tracks aren’t especially notable: those songs released to radio are self-evident from the first listen. It’s a definite improvement on ‘Cuts Across The Land’, but still not the finished article.