After a few very well received releases on the now defunct London based City Rockers imprint and some profile raising incendiary live performances, The Duke Spirit made the switch to the Loog label to complete their full debut LP. The result is a record that cuts its own path through the flotsam and jetsam that make up much of contemporary music with a confident steely determinism. Musically it's a boisterous trawl through swampy garage rock that's imbued with the attitude drenched vocals of Leila Moss, surely one of the most rich, impassioned and distinct voices currently in music today.
Tracks like "Cuts Across the Land", "Stubborn Stitches", "Win Your Love" and "Fades The Sun" are full on assaults that dredge up the primal spirit of Rock 'n' Roll and give it a good kicking. "Win Your Love" in particular with the lyrical coda "Ill feast on your eyes and ill feast on your bones", delivered with all the intensity of a girl possessed.
"The Bottom Of The Sea" and "Hello To The Floor" are leaner, more downbeat creations that smoulder with the themes of the bittersweet ambiguities of love. In places reminiscent of Mazzy Star and Neil Young, particularly the latter with its countrified harmonica.
"Darling You Are Mean" an early single on the City Rockers label is also included here and is still a highpoint for The Duke Spirit and illustrates nicely why they attracted attention. Leila Moss's vocals are exquisite, combing, sassiness, fragility and sleaze throughout, this is mirrored in the music, which has an air of Spritualized about it. Another old City Rockers moment finds its way onto the record in the form of "Red Weather" and its easy to see why they felt it needed more exposure, its a throbbing, guitar led mid paced hypnotic tour de force that's again dominated by the vocals of Ms Moss.
Splendid in its tunnel vision pursuit of the rock n roll mojo, "Cut Across The Land"
deserves to do well and cement The Duke Spirits reputation as one of the best young bands around at the moment. Do yourself a favour and seek it out.