(Opal Tapes)


In 2018, can anything sound truly authentic? Everything is a rehash of everything that came before it. It’s already hard enough for new releases to escape the confines of genre, and our obsession to attach a neatly tied label on anything even remotely exciting doesn’t exactly help move things along. But in times where the occasional oddball does reveal itself, its alien characteristics create its own separate source for spectacle.

Although it’s easy to pinpoint a few of their distinguishable features, there’s still no other way of wording it, I’ve never heard anything that sounds quite like D.U.D.S. The band’s 2017 debut, ‘Of A Nature Or Degree’, presented itself as the official declaration to their music’s myriad manifesto – a take on Manchester post-punk never before executed with such jaunty and defining character. Speaking this time last year to Loud And Quiet, singer and guitarist Giulio Erasmus described it as “a slinky rolling down the stairs.” It’s a great analogy and he’s right. It’s like D.U.D.S are routinely tripping up and falling into the back of themselves, each time repeating in completely contrasting and calamitous fashion.

Their new album, ‘Immediate’, continues to expand on this theme, except this time by rubbing shoulders with some of the Manchester music scene’s more discernible traits. Introducing brass sections and a more industrial punch, the charming calculated clumsiness of their debut suddenly feels cold and sinister. If you didn’t pick up on it before, you certainly can now – ‘Immediate’ is smeared with the sort of Manchester grit that can be found only within the walls of the northern stronghold.

Pretty much all of ‘Immediate’ is baffling to get through. Broken up into twelve tracks, each no longer than two minutes thirty, it remains inconceivable how so much can be squashed and jammed into each fleeting section. Each song explodes into its own sporadic symphony, every time fulfilling its bizarre theme or purpose. From the triumphant fanfare of ‘Humour and Friction’ to the otherworldly industrial clang of the title track, ‘Immediate’ just sort of happens before your eyes with no chance of clarity or straightforward answers.

Strangely detectable themes run through tracks like ‘Nu Nu Nu’, which feels like the soundtrack to a weird ’80s crime series, except the serial killer wins and murders all the protagonists in the most brutal and fucked up way possible. It’s this kind of shock factor and unexpectedness that engrains D.U.D.S’ music so clearly in your head. There aren’t any single standout tracks and there doesn’t have to be – ‘Immediate’ is quite literally immediate upon making impact and is one of the most convincing and standalone sounds to reach our ears this year.