I believe that it has taken The Duke Spirit a few years to get a proper amount of traction. This is not to say that their previous albums have been weak, but that Bruiser represents a coherent effort that exemplifies what the band is and what they want to do on their releases. Cherry Tree is the opening effort on Bruiser, and its blend of Blues and rock will appease fans of both. I believe that the band is able to distill the wide array of experiences in the former to make a more vibrant effort involving the latter. Villain is a track that presents to listeners a perfect dichotomy between these two genres; there seems to be much play with the hero / villain archetype, with The Duke Spirit employing it to a great advantage.
The band looks back to their earlier efforts with Surrender, but even then the act seems to be creating a more substantive sound with their music. Everybody’s Under Your Spell is one of the album’s most memorable efforts; the vocal / guitar dynamic will have listeners sitting on the edge of their seats until the album closes up shop. The Duke Spirit is an unique band, and Everybody’s Under Your Spell showcases the wide array of genres, sounds, and styles that have ultimately influenced them. Whether it be Leadbelly, psychedelic rock, or even The White Stripes, the band touches upon it all over the course of 2012’s Bruiser.
Make sure to see The Duke Spirit live if they are playing anywhere around you; I believe that there is a considerable component to their live sets that has not properly been captured up to this point.
Top Tracks: Everybody’s Under Your Spell, Sweet Bitter Sweet
The Duke Spirit – Bruiser (CD) / 2012 Polydor / 12 Tracks / http://www.thedukespirit.com