The Duke Spirit: Bruiser
English indie rockers The Duke Spirit could not have picked a more appropriate title for their latest LP. The group’s third album is a sonic punch and a call to arms. The urgency of their music is defied and complimented by vocalist Liela Moss’s delivery in equal measure, as she’s able to go from a purr to a shout in a moment.
Moss’s beautiful voice is one of The Duke Spirit’s greatest assets, but every member contributes something essential. Luke Ford and Toby Butler’s guitars are urgent and measure up to the great riffs of the 80’s, while Marc Sallis and Olly Bets are a solid rhythm section to make each song danceable.
Opener “Cherry Tree” has an infectious beat and bass that shows this group can summon up punk influences, while tracks like “De Lux” provide distorted, churning notes that are hypnotically beautiful. “Surrender” is shockingly catchy, while “Northbound” showcases the rhythmic intensity that made the band’s last record, Neptune, so beguiling.
However, it’s “Homecoming,” the album’s last song, that gets my vote for the most stunning. Moaning guitar notes and gentle tambourine let Moss’s voice stand out as she sings, “I will always think upon the way I wanted you.” It’s a perfect piece of nostalgia to close the band’s strongest record to date.