The Duke Spirit Bruiser
  • TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

  • Posted by: Carianne Hixson

Even with the depature of guitarist Dan Higgins, The Duke Spirit continues to exemplify what rock n' roll is, bringing music back to its roots while lightly seasoning tracks with new-age, psychedelic undertones. Although their fan's loyalty and commitment to the rock genre is prevalent by sticking with the somewhat gothic, fully punk sound they started with in 2005 (on their debut album Cuts Across The Land), it seems they can't submit themselves to the popular changes that are taking place in music today. They may be caught in the crossfire of trying be what they were and attempting to be what they're supposed to be-- the lack of inclination to either shows on Bruiser.

Tracks like "Everybody's Under Your Spell" hint at why The Duke Spirit should have no desire to change, but "Cherry Tree" makes you wish they hadn't attempted to at all. The post-punk lyrical content seems to be drowning in a flood of mid-tempo instrumentals that aren't quite like the dreary yet thrashing chords you'll find in "Darling, You're Mean," off of their first album. Fortunately, having previously toured with (and been influenced by) the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the tenth track "Northbound," proves that they might be able to meld genres rather then leave them dueling (which may have even led them to the title Bruiser). The redeeming quality on this album is the infectious vocal quality that Leila Moss continues to showcase, elevating even mediocre songs to a new level of superiority.





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