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Marmaduke Duke - Duke Pandemonium

  by Adrian Huggins

published: 10 / 5 / 2009

Marmaduke Duke - Duke Pandemonium
Label: Warner Bros
Format: CD


Danceable and funky, but dark-edged pop on second album from Marmaduke Duke, the side project/concept band of Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil and Sucipero's JP Reid

This is the second album from Marmaduke Duke, the side project/concept band of Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil and JP Reid from rising Scots stars Suciperio. The aim of the group is to create a three part tale of mythical literary character Marmaduke Duke, a man who is going through a cycle of life-changing experiences. ‘Duke Pandemonium’ charts the rise of a man who is letting himself go by diving into the fun side of life, but in a head-on way which is at times debauched and destructive. The result is a fantastic party album, which is a perfect mixture of synths and hook-led songs. The most serious-sounding song ‘Heartburn’ kicks off the album with an 80’s-style keyboard structure and gives hints of seediness as it slowly descends into a darker sound. From this we’re led into 'Everybody Dance', which really gets this album jumping. It is a funky, poppy number with a dance like hook and a really dirty old school disco bassline which surprisingly recollects Jamiroquai. Just as your are are losing your head in the beats guitars come crunching and give the song a whole new edge. This track perhaps more than any other perfectly sum the album up; it is catchy, danceable but with a dark edge that gives it and each song an extra bit of character. ‘Je Suis Un Funky Homme’ develops this theme, but ‘Music Show’ and the first single from the album, ‘Kid Gloves’ delve more into an electro sound and have a very minimal and understated feel. 'Demon' moves back into the darker side of things. It has a bass heavy and almost sleazy sound, but its funktastic guitars and pure disco beats make it actually impossible not to stamp your feet to this. As soon as you get into the groove with it, in an unique twist they throw in some euphoric-sounding acoustic guitars. ‘Eroctic Robotic’ mixes together the sound of Daft Punk and the Queens of the Stone Age. With its lyric of “Erotic robotic/despite the accent we’re Scottish,” both Neil and Reid are obvsiously having a lot of fun and have also come up with one of the best choruses I’ve heard in a long time. The most catchy moment of the album belongs to potential uber single ‘Rubber Lover’ which if you haven’t already heard it on the radio yet you surely will. It is a perfect pop rock song which is criminally short at just under 2 minutes long, but it literally has you singing along within 30 seconds and is so uplifting that it will keep you smiling for the rest of the day. It is a long time since I have been so excited to hear a new album and ‘Duke Pandemonium’ has completely blown away my expectations.

Track Listing:-
1 Heartburn
2 Everybody Dance
3 Silhouettes
4 Music Show
5 Kid Gloves
6 Demon
7 Erotic Robotic
8 Je Suis Un Funky Homme
9 Rubber Lover
10 Skin The Mofo

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