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New Duncan Imperials

End of Phase One

(Pravda; US: 7 Aug 2008; UK: Available as import)

The New Duncan Imperials went back to the studio after an eight year hiatus and continued creating its weird rock and roll ways with loud, crunchy guitar riffs, straight ahead drumming, and half-drunken vocals. New Duncan Imperials always sounds like they’re having a good time, even when lamenting the end of parties’ past. This new record walks that fine line behind the classic indie sound of The Replacements (check out the song “Nothin’ to Do”) and the classic rock of Tom Petty (“I’m Invisible”) and goes on various inebriated sidetracks in between. There’s a kitchen sink approach to the lyrics, which mostly fall on the side of funny but sometimes just sound out there. The fact that NDI doesn’t take itself too seriously works in its favor. Rock is supposed to be fun, and this disc offers lots of entertainment value. Even the one self-consciously country tune, “What do People Like”, cries its tears in its beer for amusement purposes.

Rating:

Steven Horowitz has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, where he continues to teach a three-credit online course on "Rock and Roll in America". He has written for many different popular and academic publications including American Music, Paste and the Icon. Horowitz is a firm believer in Paul Goodman's neofunctional perspective on culture and that Sam Cooke was right, a change is gonna come.


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