The Duke Spirit : Neptune

<img src="http://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/thedukespiritneptune.jpg" alt=" " />Dark and stormy, The Duke Spirit's second album is an intriguing post-pop mystery. ...
6.8 Shangri-La
2008 

 Dark and stormy, The Duke Spirit's second album is an intriguing post-pop mystery. Led by Liela Moss' ferocious vocals, the band unleashes a gritty, frustrated sound on Neptune, and seems to aim to escape the shadowy corners it represents.  It's a blood-rushing, eerie collection of alt-rock that has a wild side and rarely relents.

The album begins with a hymn-y "I Do Believe" before quickly jumping into "Send A Little Love Token", which runs along a rigid guitar/piano rail and crashes like a true turn-of-the-century rock song.  "The Step and the Walk" has slower, but as jagged, pop effects led by Moss' swooping voice.  On "Dog Roses", an acoustic guitar and distant drums create a desolate effect while Moss wails and recoils over the void and the harmonica and keyboard add a particularly jaded vibe.  

The alt-metal "This Ship Was Built To Last" is perhaps the most gripping moment on Neptune, as drums romp slowly through a stone-washed grunge guitar and Moss' apathetic delivery.  "Wooden Heart", however, beautifully counteracts such a force as the album's most delicate track.  More fuzzy alt-rock riffs dominate the remainder of the album with the exception of the bar-made/arena-ready "My Sunken Treasure" and the album's xylophonic closer, "Sovereign".

It's not easy to get along with, but Neptune is worth the effort.  It won't play nice, but it was never supposed to.  The Duke Spirit's second album has a razor's edge, but ultimately, will make a lot of friends.

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