Release Date: Apr 8, 2008
Record label: Artist First
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that Neptune sounds so much more polished and cohesive than the Duke Spirit's first album, Cuts Across the Land. After all, their debut was culled from years' worth of singles and EPs, while this album was recorded almost three years after Cuts Across the Land was ready for release. At any rate, it's a pleasant surprise: on Neptune, the Duke Spirit don't just focus their music, they expand on it, too.
Almost two years ago, the members of the Duke Spirit released their debut, Cuts Across the Land, peeking their heads from behind heavy velvet curtains and beckoning us into a dark, smoky room for a cigarette and some whiskey. But for that album's follow-up, Leila Moss and her cohorts are strutting, not lurking, and they're no longer in the bar. Neptune, though recorded in the vast emptiness of Joshua Tree, California, is rife with references to the ocean and water-bound ephemera.
Chivvied along by recognition from NME's Cool List, Cheltenham's Duke Spirit were among 2005's most-likely-tos, but, inexplicably, the public failed to embrace these "conduits to debauchery" (their description) and despite critical acclaim, their first album sank. This follow-up could well restore some of those initial expectations. Overseen by Queens of the Stone Age producer Chris Goss in California, it proffers the familiar garage-blues sound, but with (literally) bells on.