For even the most casual fan of Dutch Uncles, the news of a new album is something to get excited about. The Brit band makes distinctive indie pop that draws from a whole range of influences from past decades. The results are typically robust offerings, like those tunes on new album, Same Plane Dream, out tomorrow from Memphis Industries. The band has a knack for this sort of thing, clearly.
And, let's be honest, the vocals of Duncan Wallis are a big part of the appeal of this band. As he sings and hiccups on the King Crimson-like "Baskin'", a listener has to commend this band's risk-taking within the genre of indie. On the title cut and the lead track, "Big Balloon", one can hear a trace of Kate Bush, notably "Sat In Your Lap" from the masterpiece, The Dreaming. Where Kate used that album to tell stories, Dutch Uncles use a similar supple form of new wave to craft what are pretty accessible pop songs. On the bright "Streetlight", things progress in the manner of the catchiest Blue Nile numbers, while "Hiccup" offers up the sort of spry new wave that the best China Crisis numbers once featured. Elsewhere, the bouncy "Oh Yeah" sounds a natural retro-futuristic single, all late Seventies Bowie mixed with early Japan, and this despite a title that echoes -- perhaps intentionally? -- a classic Roxy Music single.
More than ever before, Dutch Uncles have managed to their harness their own style in the service of something remarkably consistent. Same Plane Dream isn't quite as beautiful as bits on earlier records, but it is a darn strong release. Never once riding an idea too far beyond what it can offer the tune, the boys in Dutch Uncles have made some fantastic music here on this new record.
[Photo: Sebastian Matthes]