Look, I don’t know the whole story, but I’m pretty sure that the guy (or girl, it’s 2018 let’s not stereotype) who invented peanut butter and jelly in America was seen as an absolute troglodyte by most of their peers, but over time the people embraced it. In fact, it becomes so popular it is now a part of what it is to be American. Replace ‘peanut butter’ with ‘metal’ and ‘jelly’ with ‘punk’ and you’ll get the feel of I Am Duckeye’s new album, Puce. Man, this release is strong. Uncompromising, bitter, stoic, heavy and ‘local’.
The first few tracks show a focus on the heavier side to Duckeye, which I really dig. Sam and Jules offering their unmistakable voices fill me with the testosterone of my youth that I have long forgotten. I also have to mention Sean’s drumming technique. I would go as far as to say that he is one of the most underrated drummers in Melbourne at the moment. He looks for opportunities to showcase his complexity, but that isn’t what he is all about. He tries to have the song breathe around what he is doing and it is refreshing.
The production is a step above what I have heard this band do in the past which is great. I fear that any more progression down this line might take the punkish edge away, but I am torn because this would make them more metal in my book. And for those worried about whether Duckeye has lost their larrikinism, just throw on Tree Puncher and listen to what is my new favourite line “You’re a f*@kin local!”. Many of the tracks have very catchy choruses and verse lines, but repetition is a double-edged sword; while it makes it easy for these tracks to bury themselves into our subconscious like a parasitic disease, it means longevity can be an issue. In the past, I have had a bit of a go at bands that aren’t metal enough, but when you can pull off huge riffs like what is given in the track Sense, I have to put some bolognaise sauce on my words and chow down. Suitable for those who order a packet of reckless abandon with their Jack and Coke.
Release Year: 2019
Reviewed by Liam Frost-Camilleri