The music of Seattle's Dude York is direct and infectious. It is the sort of thing that comes along at rare intervals in the U.S. indie scene, if such a scene can be said to even exist anymore nationally. The arrival of music like this recalls when The Strokes burst onto the scene; the tunes were clearly influenced by past bands but the presentation was entirely modern and new. Dude York are fond of big hooks and every cut on their newest long-player, Sincerely, out now on Hardly Art, rings with promise. Given the justifiable hype that's greeted this album, I'm a bit ashamed to show how far behind the curve I am by posting this review so far after the release date of the record, but, hey, I'm a big fan of this band now.
Dude York -- Peter Richards on guitar and vocals, Claire England on bass and vocals, and Andrew Hall on drums -- have cranked out something approaching a masterpiece on some levels. Sincerely opens on the languid "Black Jack" but it's the next song ("Way I Feel") that takes things forward in a big, big way. Riding in with bad intent, the players sound like they are not even trying until the huge chorus kicks in and the song enters the sort of territory usually inhabited by Stephen Malkmus solo singles, or old Weezer sides. "Something In The Way" is more of the same, but it was the playful "Life Worth Living" that thoroughly charmed me with its rough takes on the Supergrass formula. I reference that Brit three-piece as some of the same bratty vibe is here if a bit rougher around the edges -- think less Beatles influences and more Richard Hell reference points. When Claire takes over vocals on "Tonight" the effect is closer to some of the better Donnas numbers, or a more user-friendly Hole kinda thing. The cut, one of the real highlights on Sincerely, sounds like a hit single to these ears but, heck, so much of this album does.
Elsewhere, "Love Is" and "Twin Moons" take things down a notch, the attitude more slacker resignation than anything else. Still, the tunefulness here never slacks as even these down-tempo numbers remain marvelous catchy, especially album closer "Time's Not On My Side". At their best, Dude York make music that seems vitally fresh and confident. Each cut on Sincerely seems like a single and it's the rare release that can get me to say something like that. I can only look forward to future offerings by this band.
[Photo: Uncredited promotional photo]