Words by Dennis Ruhlin
It seems like every band these days is settling down and getting serious. Albums are focusing less on trivial matters and more on the very real struggles of life. And Manchester-based Dutch Uncles did just that on their newest album, O Shudder. With a sound somewhere between Hot Chip and Yeasayer, albeit in a new-wave fashion, it’s a smart and pretty enjoyable release.
This is my first time giving them a proper listen, and I’m hooked. Opening track “Babymaking” is a good representation of the album as a whole – it’s got a message, it’s groovy, and it keeps you going. This is good news because I’ve quickly learned that Dutch Uncles is a relatively unknown group, despite some extensive touring credentials and four full-length albums under their belt.
The four-piece band does a tremendous job of weaving together synths and good old fashioned instruments alongside Duncan Wallis’s eerily androgynous vocals. Sounds reminiscent of 80’s acts like Talking Heads or XTC fill the eleven track album, which is a great mix that could delight a variety or folks.
I’m extremely hesitant to say O Shudder is unpolished, and ‘lacking’ is too harsh a term, but something is missing that left me wanting just a little more. Still, it’s absolutely worth the listen, even if it doesn’t stay in heavy rotation.
© February 24th, 2015
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