The Duke Spirit - Ex-Voto
Album Review

The Duke Spirit – Ex-Voto

Wow, I’ve missed The Duke Spirit. Their debut LP somehow managed to miss the consciousness of the indie masses two years ago. They didn’t get an NME front cover, despite producing some of the catchiest rock tracks in the country, and being front by every indie kids should-be-poster-girl, Liela Moss.

They are now back with a new EP, ‘Ex-Voto’. Opener, ‘Lassoo’ is arguably the heaviest track they’ve laid down. It’s exactly what we’d expect from the Spirit, infectious grundgy riffs with loud seducing husky vocals, only this time, they’ve gone heavier, with a Nine Black Alps-esque riff and loud building trumpets in the chorus. They’ve made ‘moshing’ music, and it’s fabulous. ‘Dog Roses’, track two on the new EP, is more of a chilled number, taking a more Catanonia approach to proceedings. Out comes the acoustic, and then the harmonica. It’s more relaxed than the opener, evidence that Duke Spirit not only know how to rock our socks off, but also carefully caress them back on. ‘A Wild Hope’ is more what you’d expect to hear from The Duke Spirit. Repetitive riff, verse, chorus, verse, shouty punchy line from the chorus to end. Yeah, they’ve got a formula, but it’s a formula that knocks out lovely rocky pop songs.

The great thing about this EP is that they’ve tried to expand their formula. Evidence of this is closer ‘Masca’, a short dit without a clear lyrical/vocal pattern, skipping around but still managing to keep you transfixed with the haunting “somehow everyone’s the same” vocal. Every track from ‘Ex-Voto’ reeks the confidence that was present on the ‘Cuts Across The Land‘, leaving us licking our lips in anticipation for the new long player.

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