Duke Spirit
"Neptune"

(Shangri-La Music 2008)Duke Spirit - Neptune

If the Velvet Underground and Nico had been produced by Masters of Reality's Chris Goss (known for his guiding hand to Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, as well as other bands not featuring Josh Homme) would the result have resembled Duke Spirit's "Neptune?" True, Duke Spirit's frontwoman Liela Moss sounds far more human and in control than Nico but their vaguely low toned voices both accompany music whose layers of buzzing instrumentation transcend to something practically tangible.

The piano pounder "Send A Little Love Token" works as a smart draw in after the ghostly and unnecessary forty-five seconds that is "I Do Believe" while the pounding echo of the percussion on "This Ship Was Built To Last" swells with a distinctly light melody. "Wooden Heart" offers a ballad that shows off Moss' vocals without really taxing her and the fuzzed out bass line on "The Step And The Walk" screams "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" as the loose jam fills out like a classic throwback. Elsewhere the catchy riff on "You Really Wake Up The Love In Me" and the runaway train "Into The Fold" make no apologies for being good old fashioned rock 'n' roll.

On "Neptune," The Duke Spirit concentrate steadfastly on being serious musicians but the reverberating buzz that echoes throughout the dozen tracks quickly becomes tiresome. The band dip their toes into the pool but never jump in, letting themselves loose, unwinding and showing off their reckless side a la the Velvet Underground. Instead The Duke Spirit offers a solid release in "Neptune."

B+

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