With a mandate to de-contextualise rock and to promote simultaneously their church on the way; the Montreal punk band Duchess Says might take the cake for best band description. What is their church?
It involves a spiritual budgie, the Duchess, and four band members who have become influential members of the Church of Budgerigars. Composed of A-Claude (vox, keytar, guitar), Ismael (keyboard,guitar), Phil (guitar, bass, feedbacks) and Simon Says (lo-fi beats, drums and doubtful noises) this group decided to work together insure a faithful representation of the message of the Duchess through a precise artistic dialogue. tweet
With this years release of a new album “Sciences Nouvelles”, Duchess Says illustrates an incredible diverse range of musical roles and styles in addition to experimental desires and intense lyrical images.
It was the first series of tracks that caught my attention. ‘Inertia’ parts one and two, ‘I Repeat Myself’ and ‘Negative Thoughts’ are fantastic productions, it’s not easy to mix this collection of sound. Because the group wanted to record and mix their own way, they ended up fashioning their own studio space. The united personality and excitement of these songs is made possible through the free experimentation and the smooth blend of vocals, synth, beats, and guitars. Every sounds is complementary in a way that the band clearly knows itself and the styles of each member. The vocals will cut through the rhythm and then the guitar will jump up in response.
‘Pink Coffin’ is a whirlwind that speeds up and slows down to the rhythm of the main lyric featuring five mono-syllable words; the first four repeated in quick succession with the final expletive pronounced slowly for emphasis. The following track ‘The Family Physicians’ steps away from a punk drive into a more psychedelic and experimental piece whose underling rhythm guitar resonates with the rest of the album. These two tracks come at the end of an album packed with studio delights.
About halfway through ‘Poubelle’ you might identify with the sound of a ringing telephone. The title of the track does make one wonder what all the knocking, ringing and repetition is about. But that’s the whole idea, you are welcome to use your imagination and have fun because this is a unique instrumentation of poubelle. ‘Travaillez’ is a sneaky and haunting track with an excellent addition of synth rhythms.
Listen to the full album here:
If you do not usually enjoy new punk music, I think Duchess Says could make you willing to try. At least have a listen to their album, we can save the conversation about their incredible live performances packed with intense moves and musical energy for later. They played Call the Office in London Ontario last month but Duchess Says is currently on tour in Europe.
NOV 21 Monday Electrowerkz London, United Kingdom
NOV 23 Wednesday Marché gare Lyon, France
NOV 24 Thursday Fri-Son Fribourg, Switzerland
NOV 25 Fiday Komma Esslingen Am Neckar, Germany
NOV 26 Saturday Venster 99 Vienna, Austria
MAR 4 Saturday Le Petit Chicago Gatineau, Canada