The Dutch Uncles are from Marple in Greater Manchester. The five-piece indie-pop band first got together as The Dutch Uncles in 2008 after meeting at college. O Shudder is their fourth album. Taking their influences from bands such as Talking Heads and XTC, their complex pop sound is not dissimilar to Memphis Industries label mates Field Music.
O Shudder is available on limited edition indies only red coloured vinyl LP, standard vinyl LP and CD.
2 reviews. Add your own review.
You kind of have to do a double take on the opening ‘Babymaking’ on this, the best album so far from Manchester art rockers Dutch Uncles. It sounds unfathomably like Kate Bush. Almost unnervingly so given that it’s being produced in 2015 by an all-male Manchester 5-piece. Certainly singer Duncan Wallis has been studying the phrasing and delivery of Kate Bush to a tee and when his deliciously androgynous voice is backed with soft fair-light synths and off kilter chord and time changes, it leads to something that sounds like it could have easily appeared on ‘The Hounds of Love’.
The thing is... it's utterly fantastic. Dutch Uncles have straightened out some of the quirks that have previously threatened to derail their arch clever melodic pop and have really nailed their colours to the mast with this fantastic album. The sheer daring of some of their musical moves has not been seen in British pop since the glory days of The Associates, Talk Talk and XTC. Three modern day bands though are also brought to mind: Wild Beasts, Field Music and These New Puritans. On ‘Drips’ they use an amazing swirling, almost Philip Glass motif in which to weave their magic. This is orch-pop up with the very best, and when I say best I mean XTC’s wonderful ‘Apple Venus’. Their template veers the length and breadth of '80s pop -- ‘Decided Knowledge’ smooths out Depeche Mode’s industrial synth for wine bar consumption whilst ‘In and Out’ recalls the era when Green Gartside’s honey voiced mid '80s Scritti Politti complixi-pop ruled the airwaves.
It might be too complex, too arch for some but this is clever, literate and highly enjoyable pop music that does something very different from everything else around at the moment. Highly recommended.
8/10 Jed The Humanoid Customer review, 19th June 2015
The ghosts of 80s pop legends haunting this album does indeed make one shudder. Seeing them live for the first time in 2013 having never listened to any of their music before, the 80s influence was unavoidable. Now, on this album, they've created a lush absorbing collection of songs that strongly evoke 1984 to 1986. Think the perfect blend of Kate Bush - Hounds of Love, Scritti Politti - Provision, Peter Gabriel - So and Talk Talk - The Colour Of Spring and you'll get an idea of the song craft and the overall feel of the sound.
Duncan Wallis' voice is a thing of great beauty, a more androgenous Mark Hollis which works to great effect on the high points on the record - Babymaking, Drips and Decided Knowledge. Therein lies, for me, the only criticism of the record - that it plays its strongest cards too early. The first four songs are so good that the second half of the album feels as though it flags a little and it lacks a dynamic finish in the way that Nometo and Brio finish off the previous album. However, I'm being somewhat picky in this regard. Not as angular as Cadenza or as funky as OOTITW, it's a great collection of highly intelligent pop songs that you'll find hard to stop playing repeatedly.
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