Duke of Vandals | When It Rains It Pours

 
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Family Average: 3/7

Its rock and roll baby, and Rock and Roll will never die! Just look at those skeleton people on the cover of the album all shot full of arrows and still standing around. Good for them! Okay on to the album. Today The Family gives you their thoughts on the band Duke of Vandals, and their EP When It Rains It Pours. The Duke of Vandals is a Punk, rock kind of band started in 2017 in NYC. I wonder how the family took it.

Listen along on Spotify and read on to find out:

 

Usually on my commute to work I listen to some relaxing, calming indie mix or nostalgic mood boosters from the likes of Sheryl Crow or Destiny's Child. Today I opted to instead have a listen to Duke of Vandals'  When it Rains It Pours. As a result I walked into work ready to slam a chair over someone's head, light a cigarette, and walk out. I didn't though, don't worry, I'm still employed. While I'm not a fan of his robot voice, I can get behind the head banging, simple choruses and high energy that you get right off the bat with the first track. It keeps a steady pace until the closing track "Antimatter," which felt not unlike navigating a punk rock haunted house filled with spiked red hair and safety pins. Overall not my style but definitely very listenable..is that a word?

4/7

 

I understand that having a messy sound is part of a punk garage rock aesthetic, but there comes a point where it starts to get in the way. If the recording quality could be cleaned up a bit it would probs help a lot. Right now it’s a bit too much, it mushes everything together and makes the sound sorta flavorless. The first song was all over the place in this regard, but the second one was more tame and parsable. The third in comparison though gets kinda bland. It’s like they started out with a big rush of energy and it fizzled out as they went on. It’s not irredeemable though, if you push through you can see something forming amidst all the ruckus. It just needs to be more polished to be seen clearer.

If the sound gets more coherent and the singer varies his vocal range more, they could have something. But right now, they sound like they really are in a garage.

3/7

 
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Yikes.  Punk meets Death Metal. It was catchy but there was too much distortion on it for me. It sounded muddy and muffled, like if the Sex Pistols were playing under water.  I am not a fan of this type of music, never was never will be.

2/7

 

I can see myself being pretty into this band if I was experiencing them live. It’s that kind of pulsating, metal-y rock that if you are in the right place, in the right mood, and with the right people, it could be a good time. You’re just there appreciating the noise, the space, the experience, etc., etc., etc. Listening to it on a rainy Monday night curled up on a couch, however, is a different story. The songs became grating very quickly -- the tracks felt cyclical and unending. The vocals felt monotonous, and the choral / call and response accents did little to augment the music itself. There were few moments of respite, and frankly, I got tired real quick. The severe lack of variation from track to track added to this sense of monotony. No doubt, these guys fit a certain bill. As I said, I imagine they put on a solid show with their hard driving guitar and pounding drums, but overall felt it lacked variation and a certain ingenuity.

2/7

 

When I first popped this album on I was totally jazzed to put it up for a review. That said, my relationship with the album has since taken some unexpected turns. At its core, this is a rock album. The songs are fast, the vocals are shouted in a chorus of grunts, and the cymbals are smashed to bits. All nice things to have, but things I have seen done a thousand times over. I think that is where most of my frustration comes from. Their throbbing, exciting sound becomes predictable consistently at the two minute mark of each song. If everything was going to be simple and repetitive, then the least they could do was not make every song over three minutes long. I am not saying they have to re-invent rock music as a genre, but they should at least aim to build on it -- subvert expectations a little bit, ya know? Duke of Vandals showcase some serious talent, and I don’t write this review to bash them. My opinion comes from a place of frustration that they are simply going through the motions of being a “rock album.”

3/7

 
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When It Rains, It Pours.

Duke of Vandals

I don't tend to like this kinda music, but it has been done in a way that I can.

Not the biggest fan of the vocals, but the music isn’t too bad.

I just find this to be not unique or mentionable, but not totally bad.

Just fine.

3/7

 
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Duke of Vandals: Every song has a great intro, and then the vocals kick in and it all falls apart. Each time I was drawn in only to be disappointed. "Anti matter" was my favorite because it was more punk. In this song the vocals didn't bother me as much -- they were clearer and had better production.  I don't know if it's the production here or what, but the vocals are a detriment.

3/7

 
Sean Maldjian