Monday, 18 February 2013

Dutch Uncles Put Us To Work

Despite raving reviews for their second LP, Dutch Uncles remain a relatively unknown band. Of course they are not choosing for the easy road. The music is not your average indie pop and the the band can make it a bit difficult for their listeners. By using less common time signatures than a standard back-beat for instance. This is not any different on their third album Out Of Touch In The Wild, that was released this month.

Dutch Uncles - Out Of Touch In The Wild (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)

No simple pop tunes this time either, which wasn't to be expected of course. But again ten songs that require quite some attention. The catchy sound with playful tunes did stay though, combined with the unique vocals of Duncan Wallis. His high voice is flawless and sometimes even sounds feminine. Together with his style of singing now and then, it reminds of Kate Bush from time to time. Add to that influences of Talking Head and King Crimson and you may understand a bit what it sounds like.

Besides using non-standard time signatures, the quintet is treating us to some nicely layered and lush arrangements. Often strings are used here, which gives songs like 'Zug Zwang' a more dramatic sound. Despite the more difficult ingredients the band never loses touch with the song itself. Many songs do have a catchy hook like first single 'Fester'. The nervous xylophone line in it will stick in your head for days. Instruments like a xylophone are used more often this way, but it never feels like a trick. It is giving the band, together with Wallis' vocals and a funky guitar here and there, their own face. For instance 'Flexxin' is getting its swinging character from these kind of elements.

Dutch Uncles underline their qualities and creativity with Out Of Touch In The Wild. Maybe they are not making it easy for themselves, since they are keeping far from mainstream with it. The band won't reach a big audience quickly or play the big stages because of that. Of course there's nothing wrong with that at all. On the contrary, let's hope this band will continue down this road in their own way and will put us to work many times to come.

This review has been published on ROAR E-Zine in Dutch over here.

Listen to In My Time on Spotify.

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