Duckii – Dead End Dreamers Club
Swirling and folding in itself, opening track ‘It Takes Some Time’ seems to bend time as its loops repeat and build.
Unexpectedly, the lead vocal leaps into place with a nu metal feel about it, while the loops then dance around to create a hypnotic zone of inner madness. ‘Don’t We Make It Up’ has a hyper, upbeat, joyous tone to it. The glacial synths create an uplifting feel that blends with the snapping guitar samples that chop and change, as if they have been torn at the edges, while ‘Mindbilly’ throws a crazy delay at the drum loop to cause a hectic craziness that moves back and forth around the listener. Here in particular, it’s the bass you’re going to want to look out for, all grumbling and nervous and incredibly satisfying. There are moments on the album where it seems as though there might be time to take a rest – the opening bars of ‘Shadow Talk’ at first seems to be an opportunity for reflection until the insistent beat kicks in and it suddenly becomes apparent that this is going to be a relentless album. ‘The Elephant Dines’ takes a slightly different direction, with the lead vocal making the track feel more like an indie track by a band that is trying to be more experimental in their approach, with its chopped up lyrics and bleeping synths that flicker in the background. ‘Crushed Neon Lights’ probably couldn’t be more aptly titled, with its throbbing synth tones and drums that fizz with electricity. There are moments of euphoria when the vocals move into place, before pulling back to allow a deep, dubby bass to creak and pump through the track’s arrangement. Talking about bass, ‘Admission’ has it in spades, at times threatening to crack open the floor, while ‘Run Amok’ chooses to focus more on a strong and straight ahead kick beat. It’s a dubstep influenced track with its pitch shifted vocal, and yet much like so much of the tracks on Dead End Dreamers Club there is quite an orthodox style to the way in which the songs have been written. That is to say, when all the gloss and effects are taken away, there are some very strong songs sitting beneath it all – some of which could quite easily work as a regular acoustic song. It’s this kind of production that makes music so exciting, when writers and producers are able to take something that could easily be dull and unoriginal, and choose to present the work in an altogether different fashion. ‘Safe In Her Arms’ pours out a thick and heavy beat and tone, and yet the progression of the notes feel comforting and familiar despite the threat and dread that is deep in the mix. Tracks like ‘The Way We Fall’ take acoustic guitar elements and present them in a more abstract way, looped and circular, again affirming the way in which Duckii has chosen to make music in a way that just isn’t quite like what anyone else is doing.