There is no denying there is always a thick surge of excitement when we get an email from certain quarters saying “We have a new album coming out.” Australian noise mongrels Duckeye are one such protagonist for ears and anticipation, so the recent mail from drummer/producer Sean Bailey introducing the band’s fifth full-length, Welt, was eagerly leapt upon though with more demanding scrutiny and wants given their previous impressive exploits.
Still also going by their original longer moniker I Am Duckeye across social media, Duckeye have evolved a sound which was punk rock meets noise/sludge rock bred into a sonically bestial incitement across their releases. It is a proposition fuelled by devilish humour and mischief though that too has evolved over time to be a far more black and sinister incitement to match the darkness in modern society and equally the wonderfully predatory growth of their creativity and music. In many ways the band’s journey is Lord of the Flies like, three seemingly civilised gents turning creatively feral by the record though maybe it is fair to say that sophistication was never a rich hue of their sound unleashing trespassing craft and raw temptation.
2019 saw the release of the outstanding Puce, an encounter accompanied by that shortened name change. It also marked the new metal and post metal voracity sweeping through the Melbourne band’s voracious sound; essences which have been potent hues within all encounters to some extent but now shaping the character and infernal breath of their music.
Welt takes things forward again, its metal and sludge bred insurgency and post rock causticity a devouring beast as antagonistic as it is devilish yet still there is a punk/hardcore cored contagion that gets under the skin as the records abuses the senses. It is raucous, clamorous and a blistering trespass but at the same time mischievously insightful in lyric and barbed hookery with the trio of vocalist/guitarist Sam Haycroft, bassist Jules Medor, and Bailey exploiting every aspect previously enjoyed and creating fresh incitement to lure new attention.
Sifting starts things off, a steely strum enticing ears before being quickly joined by skittish rhythms and the great gnarly breath of Medor’s bass. Just as swiftly, throat scarring vocals call out, the track fusing all into a snarling, intimidating incursion on the senses. It prowls and it taunts thereon in but equally captivates with infection loaded riffs, similarly nurtured sonic groves and manipulative rhythms.
It is not a particularly welcoming track but a tremendous start to the release which is continued by the similarly esurient and primal Mango Tree. Grooves spiral and entwine the senses as again the delicious chafing bait of the bass ignited the instincts, their imposing lures aligned to imagination stoking post rock twists for something as challenging as it is captivating.
Sunny’s at Mass swings in like it is pissed off, rhythms jabbing at the senses as riffs intrude. It is antipathy matched in the twin vocal incursion contemplating a world and society thick in abuse and injustice; observation and reflection bound in a sonic web of tempting while Loopstations creates its own knot of steely threads and rapier rhythms amidst post punk harassment. It is a glorious addictive entrance by the song, one which burrows deeper by its subsequent cycles, all driven by increasingly creative nagging as it bears the stalking nightmarish exploits of the superb track.
From one major favourite to another as the somnambulistic stroll of Sleep grips ears and thoughts alike. Its inherent irritability ignites the senses searing touch of the guitar, its caustic wires inciting the controlled yet venomous swipes of Bailey’s beats with exasperation soaking all before Night Cuts reveals its own tapestry of similarly bred but individually presented entanglement of ears and imagination. It too is a niggling slice of Duckeye prowess, rhythms chipping away at the senses as guitar and bass stingingly seduce with angular temptation; all the while Haycroft’s tone and words a vexed protagonist.
Inspired by a body found in a bin in a building 30m from where the band jams, eventually revealed as the retribution on a junkie who did not pay his debts, Frankston Burial is confrontation and addictiveness united. From its incessant bass chug to its mesh of guitar borne entrapment, the track is another which haunts and stalks the senses even its calmer moments of intrusion, one as compellingly sullied and dirty as the tale it arose from.
The rapacious inebriated assail of Mum’s Wine only increased the debilitating pleasure and devilment of Welt, leaving lingering marks even if not quite as deeply as others within the roar of corrosive pleasure before BIC uncaged its own salacious infectiousness with rhythmic spite and sonic contagion; it another irresistible moment within the creative squall.
Wise Cowes completes the album, its body an emotive outpouring as much as a debilitating tempest of sound; a torment of heart and sonic endeavour which devoured and haunted the imagination and sparked lusty pleasure, much as the album itself.
There seems an additional frustration within the breath and heart of Welt, one no doubt Covid and lockdown connected and it only adds to the power and impact of the album; the most intrusive, uncomfortable and striking not forgetting thickly enjoyable from Duckeye yet.
Welt is released August 6th, available @ https://iamduckeye.bandcamp.com/album/welt
Pete RingMaster 22/07/2021
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