Those insatiable Australian riff stalkers I Am Duckeye have returned with second album Commando Too and if you thought they could not exploit and distort the classic cacophonous swipe any more than they did on debut album Husband, then stand corrected as the Melbourne quartet has bred and plucked a whole new tsunami of belligerent riffery and merciless revelry. Consisting of fourteen tongue pressing slabs of salacious devilment and unbridled wickedness, album two spreads the toxins birthed in its predecessor into new insatiably irreverent and seriously compelling brawls.
From the first day of their rampage in 2008 it is probably fair to say that the quartet of guitarists/vocalists and brothers Sam and Matt Haycroft (who also play in Sydonia, Afterwhite and Chico Flash respectively), bassist Jules (also in Dirty F), and drummer Sean (Sydonia), has had the good clean living people of Melbourne drenched in nightmares and the hellacious basking with broad grins. They are a band that once assaulted and thrilled by lustful hunger is inevitable, as with us after their inescapable Punching Dicks EP. It was a release which told us all about the mischief and intent of the band whilst Husband revealed beneath all the humour and sexual antics, I Am Duckeye takes their music seriously and with a plentiful of skill and imagination. The Duckeye riff mobile has been taking on steam to match its weight and with the release of Commando Too, it can only be a matter of when and not if the tea bagging reprobates infect and bring down the world.
The crowd-funded album opens with the towering ‘offspring’ of first album’s track The Riff, well certainly a closely bred cousin. Son of a Riff reveals its intent lyrically and musically within its first breath, scraping guitars teasing ears as the vocals provide the source of the narrative in the bands as always one of a kind way. It is not long before rhythms are caving in on the senses whilst guitars turn up with searing flames and ferocity. The music growls like a woman giving birth, grizzling sonic endeavour adding to the heavyweight voracity driving on the track’s twisted rampage. It is a tremendous start given extra spice by the brief My Sharona like licks and swiftly matched by the just as ravenous endeavour of Grip It. Though distinctly different the song starts with the same intensity and scarring riffery of its predecessor but as it establishes itself soon unearths a hell of a demonic riff and throat which is plain rabid. Suddenly a juggernaut of rapacious urgency and spiteful dynamics, the confrontation tears down senses and ignites the imagination like a mix of Slayer meets Age of Menace meets Melvins, and is just brilliant.
Hi Viz comes next and though it has its moments just does not click overall. Steam punk expulsions and floating discord kissed harmonies drift into view first courted by a single guitar. It is an intriguing if not captivating start but one soon working once embraced by a torrent of scathing riffs and sonic antagonism. Sadly that is the best part of the song and only when it intermittently returns does, for personal pleasure, the song work. Nevertheless it makes a decent variation before the addictive punk- skat fest of Duckeye Boogie picks up ears and passions for a rhythmically hypnotic and sonically seductive romp. As always the band’s choice of words and lyrical adventure is irresistible but as with the last album it is the music which grabs the biggest plaudits, though combined everything is a destiny suiting fit.
The just as tremendous Windmills comes along next, again the band playing with their punk side (something their mother never warned them about). There is a sense of Dirt Box Disco to the feisty sinew driven punk ‘n’ roll incitement, where rhythms and especially riffs steal the honours once again though the infestation of hooks have their say also before the album takes another twist and venture into disco with Tuesday, I Go the Blues Way…only kidding. The song is a sweaty rather than sultry moan of the blues done Aussie style and as always with the band comes in an unpredictable soak of delicious taunting. Imagine Lemmy singing the blues after lessons from Sir Les Patterson and you get the drift to another great moment.
Things only get better and better as the album progresses, the noise rock mess of I Need Rehab just excellent and hilarious. Vocally distraught and musically deranged until its heavy rock needs escape, the track is just irresistible as is the following post/steam punk come electro orgy of What is Wrong with Me?, a brief self-reflection which is more pride than insecurities. Matching the pair in setting leakages in motion is Stool Bender, a fierce heavy stoner bred rocker of a mating with the ears which flirts, gnaws, and suffocates the senses, though not always in that order. Stalked by the bass and slapped around by the drums, passions are already aflame but sent feverish by the cruel causticity of the riffing and the ever engaging vocals. The track is another undeniable slab of evidence to the growing craft and intent of the songwriting of the band and their accomplished sounds, so much so that you just wonder if one day we will see a ‘serious’ rock/metal album coming from the guys.
This latest lofty plateau of the album continues with the stomping animosity of the blistering Meth is Death and the Black Tusk like avalanche Agonhymn, both adding rich fun, diversity, and might to the release before the angst drawn Headbutt. If persistence and sonic nagging is a sin than this band is going right where they want to with tracks like this their infernal anthem. It is a bestial and ruinous experience, a damnation of contagion.
The album finishes with firstly the exhausting blaze of Ayy Ayy, a savage and uncompromising fury which makes Mastodon look timid but a tempest which is just as gleeful mellowing in unexpected places with wistful harmonies and looks. From there the release closes on the sweltering climate and stoner sonic winery of Panchow, a final leviathan of proof in case you had any doubts left that this band can write exceptional metal/rock songs of varying spices. It is a smouldering stoner/psychedelic flame of acidic enterprise and evocative resonance which leaves a lingering fire for the imagination and passions to immerse in.
After Husband we were left wondering if I Am Duckeye could go much further in their invention and craft let alone devilment; well Commando Too is the evidence that not only can they but it is still blissfully early days…
Comando Too is available now @ http://iamduckeye.bandcamp.com/
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