There’s something to be said about not having your hand held. Comparable to Karen O and PJ Harvey, The Duke Spirit’s Liela Moss trades spit for wit as the pant-wearer to her four male counterparts (Dan Higgins, Olly Betts, Toby Butler, Luke Ford). The band cracks a sheer brand of unbridled blues-rock throughout Cuts Across the Land, a record that serves a genuine dose of wisdom beyond its years and is promising despite its infancy. “Love Is An Unfamiliar Name” infectiously lures the meek and feeble (“Love is an unfamiliar name/ I’m trying to reach you but you’re never the same”), while “You Were Born Inside My Heart” is a beckoning rush that hustles into the steady taunts of “Lion RIP”.
Though hauntingly crimson, the guitar riffs and buff vocals solidly anchor the record as a raw exposé of raucous unpretentiousness. The group’s spark lies in its ability to set aside the curtain and show aside to reveal the old-fashioned school of rock. When in need of the brash, Duke Spirit would be on the request list, even amidst the current Yeah Yeah hysteria. Yes, I went there.