Marmaduke Duke – Duke Pandemonium Marmaduke Duke – Duke Pandemonium

Marmaduke - Duke Pandemonium

Marmaduke - Duke Pandemonium

Duke Pandemonium is the second installment in the band’s triple pronged conceptual discography. Featuring Simon Neil of “mon the Biff” fame, and JP reid of Sucioperro, Duke Pandemonium shuffles along in just over half an hour of funk rock. Most of what’s on offer here is instantly enjoyable, and it shouldn’t require you to pour over listen upon listen in an attempt to “get it”. It’s simply a bit of a laugh.

“Heartburn” sends a message to those dismissing this as a straightforward Biffy spin off, with some sinister electronic crackles and Simon Neil sounding like a male Donna Summer (Aye). “Everybody Dance” starts firing from the hip, and is almost too funkay for it’s own good. Whilst Simon Neil does a good job on vocals with this sort of task and it is pretty catchy, the listener has to make literally no effort at all. There’s no build up, delay, or delayed gratification. Like most of the enjoyable elements on this album, everything is completely instant. Which isn’t much fun, really, not in the long run. Whilst the likes of the funk madness of “Je Suis un funky homme” and the excellent “Rubber Lover” provide something to come back to, the album is elsewhere guilty of some serious questionable taste. On “Demon” for example, the only song lasting more than the blink of an eyelid, the Scottish lads seem to descend into practice room wankery. Which is fine. In the practice room.

Also, at the risk of sounding completely elitist, some of this album goes to show that perhaps there’s a reason that we’ve heard of Biffy Clyro and not Sucioperro. Reid seems to do a grand job on backing vocals, but unfortunately not center stage.

To its credit, this album is a lot less serious than most Biffy escapades tend to be, and it genuinely does sound as if the band had a laugh whilst recording this. Which is good, considering most of the accessible funky pop songs on here are meant to be enjoyed for what they are; just that. There are a considerable amount of eccentricities and quirks that come through that normally wouldn’t on an album from Neil and co, and the guys have managed to produce an album which can stand separate from Biffy Clyro, which at first it will inevitably be associated with.

Pretty darn good. But not quite Duke special.

Track List:
1. “Heartburn”
2. “Everybody Dance”
3. “Silhouettes”
4. “Music Show”
5. “Kid Gloves”
6. “Demon”
7. “Erotic Robotic”
8. “Je Suis Un Funky Homme”
9. “Rubber Lover”
10. “Skin The Mofo”

Marmaduke Duke - Duke Pandemonium, reviewed by Lemon on 2009-05-22T13:11:34-07:00 rating 3.4 out of 5

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