Band: Dutch Uncles
Release: Out Of Touch In The Wild (Album)
Release Date: Out now
Dutch Uncles are (along with Everything Everything) part of a new wave of intelligent pop music coming out of Manchester.
Their distinctive sound is present throughout this third offering, with bouncy piano and keyboard melodies forming the backbone of many of the songs, accompanied by Duncan Wallis’s recognisable falsetto vocal lines. As with their previous releases, the guys make inventive use of unusual time signatures to give their brand of quirky pop an unusual twist.
The main musical progression on this album is their move away from a guitar-based rock instrumentation to something a bit more diverse, with plenty of string parts, synths, xylophones, etc. While as a general rule extra diversity makes for more interesting music, we feel that by giving the guitar parts less prominence some of the songs lack in energy compared to their older material.
A few stand-out tracks deserve to be mentioned individually:
‘Bellio’ flows really nicely, with its groovy bass line and warm fuzzy synths in the chorus. ‘Fester’ is a little jarring with its strange xylophone melodies, but the arrangement really compliments Wallis’s voice, and the strummed guitar line towards the end helps drive the song towards a neat conclusion. ‘Godboy’ opens with some very interesting panned guitars, which create an eerie spacious atmosphere before the drums and strings kick in – we especially enjoyed the cool strings hits in this one. Finally, ‘Flexxin’ is probably the strongest song on the album, with its great mix of strings throughout – the final product is a warm, catchy piece of pop music.
‘Out Of Touch In The Wild’ sounds best when treated as one single cohesive piece of art – the songs lead nicely into each other, so that it can be listened to as a coherent whole. Individually, though, we feel some of the songs change tack a little too abruptly for comfortable listening.
This album represents a meaningful progression from a band with a lot of potential, but still some maturing left to do.
Reviewer: Solomon Radley