Duck, Little Brother Duck! – Don’t Take Our Filth Away
“…It is perhaps, a statement of collective artistic existence in the wake of a previous undertaking that perhaps stretched its composers to near breaking point…”
I wish I could say that they’d done it again . . .but they just haven’t . . . A portrait already exists of these 4 individuals at the height of their powers and before I go any further I should perhaps go back to the (relative) start.
You see, back in 2010 Duck, Little Brother Duck! released Survival Is Not A Workout, an album I maintain to be one of the enduring classics of the math-rock pseudo-genre. It had everything, intricacy, humour, emotion, great riffs, poignant lyrics and everything in between from 4 guys you’d never met who you knew you could share a beer with after a show if you ever had the privilege of seeing them live. “Survival . . . ” had a very broad palate of sound & in retrospect it must have been an enormous labour of love, clocking in at nearly 80 minutes with several over-arching themes within the album’s sprawling 15 tracks. Indeed, the band themselves noted sometime last year that they would never undertake something the likes of that album again, stating that a more straightforward & even ad-hoc approach would be used for all future recordings. If nothing else, D,LBD! Are a band of their words, turning in a work that is much more Smash & Grab than its predecessor.
The punkier influences are joyous in their own way on tracks like “OMGMT” which marries hardcore and prog influences like a sunshinier Botch or the rousing opening track “732 Seconds”. But given what has come before it can also be in danger of seeming overly conscientious of this self-same factor. Maybe I am missing the point completely but what is on offer here, although fantastic in its own merit just seems a little monochromatic in comparison to what they unleashed on the world in the early summer of 2010.
All the elements that make Duck, Little Brother Duck! great are here, the aggravated dual guitars, the fat low end, the stop & change on a dime drumming and the glorious gang vocals. Indeed the album builds much like its predecessor with each proceeding track outstripping its’ predecessor (tracks 7-10 are collectively MINT in particular). Track 8, “Calvin Young” is a highlight blending what has gone before with all that this band is about now. Yet I cannot love this album wholeheartedly.
It is Houses of the Holy when “” has already gone before, a necessary move but not a totally embraced one. It is perhaps, a statement of collective artistic existence in the wake of a previous undertaking that perhaps stretched its composers to near breaking point. A work of music & emotional art that completely deserves to exist but is not an accurate reflection of their true capabilities, listen to this 1st, you may end up loving “Survival . . .” even more. An “A-” paper from an “A+” student.
Drop-d Rating: 7/10