Hailing from England, The Duke Spirit is a five-piece rock-n-roll band, voiced by Liela Moss, whose flexible voice can handle all of their songs with wide borders. Couple that with the excellent musicianship of her band-mates, and you have plenty of rock and roll goodness. To top it all off, one of the band members is holding a plastic-sealed LP copy of Dylan and The Band’s The Basement Tapes on the cover of their album, which has to pique your interest even if it has nothing to do with the music heard on Neptune. It does, however, reveal a band that has an interest in music deeper than the Top 40 that permeates our culture in any period.
That interest is reflected in their album that begins with a short, hymn-like tune with a repeated ambiguous phrase that can be construed as either a declaration or a taunt before launching into a raucous piano-led “Send a Little Love Token.” The band’s gold starts at track three, with the excellent “The Step and the Walk,” a memorable song (and an obvious single) that has everything going for it. You’ll also like the shoe-gaze sound of “Wooden Heart,” and the punkish piano pop-balladry of “My Sunken Treasure.”
There’s much to like about their debut full-length, Neptune. They foray into ‘90s rock, with toe-dips into earlier decades to create a hybrid of music that, while derivative, is completely entertaining to listen to. Simply put, The Duke Spirit has created a gem of an album.
Consider this: The Duke Spirit has left behind a business card that you’ll no doubt be referring to in the future.