Thursday, March 19

Filthy Dukes- Nonsense In The Dark.

. Thursday, March 19

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Filthy Dukes gained prominence in the middle stages of the decade through running the Kill 'Em All night at Fabric in London. A post Alkan/ Trash night it blended rock with dance music and helped towards the cross pollination acts such as Does It Offend You, Yeah? and Shy Child benefit from. They also provided a number of remixes to the likes of The Rakes and Late Of The Pier and bizarrely worked with Girls Aloud's Sarah Harding on a movie soundtrack. All these toe-dipping adventures have led the duo (Tim Lawton and Olly Dixon) to 'Nonsense In The Dark', their debut full length, full band album.

The reference points and demographic cross hairs are immediately obvious and locked on hard. This is Justice/ LCD Soundsystem et al for indie kids. The vocal collaborators range from Orlando Weeks of The Maccabees to Brandon Curtis of Secret Machines by way of long forgotten Liverpool band To My Boy. This over-reliance on guest appearances occasionally leads to the album sound like a compilation as opposed to belonging to one specific act.

The lead single from 'Nonsense In The Dark', 'This Rhythm' featuring Samuel Dust of Late Of The Pier is a fine start to the album with it's pulsating beats and haunting vocals however things soon descend into the gimmicky with the aforementioned To My Boy's 'Elevator' falling flat and Brookly noise-punks Foreign Islands doing their very best impression of 'D.A.N.C.E' by Justice on 'What Happens Next'.

Perhaps it is years of playing other peoples music that have led to over analysis of what works or maybe it is pure opportunism but nothing on the album sounds truly inventive or genre defying. You could gain similar insight into the state of club/ dance music by playing the Hype Machine's top 10 chart. That's not to say it all bad, in fact none of it is bad per se, just unremarkable. Orlando Weeks of The Maccabees provides the star turn on the albums self-titled track, shifting the pace down a gear and providing deliciously morose warbling over a pretty and understated backdrop, hopefully a future single. Similarly Brandon Curtis' entry is pure 80's melodrama at the disco and the Duke's own Tim Lawton inserts his interesting baritone over 'Absolute Body Control', it's surprising he does not provide more vocals on the album.

If what you want is one succint album to encapsulate a dark and sleazy club night then Filthy Dukes tick all the boxes but don't go expecting anything other than 'Now! That's what I call Electro 2009' from 'Nonsense In The Dark'


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