EP Review: Modern Day Dukes – “Happy Now?”
On their latest EP, Modern Day Dukes seem to be channelling their inner muso. While the three tracks on offer here are, at their hearts, still the same combination of hook-lined rock and roll, they all veer of into a world of stop start riffs, time signature jiggery pokery and epic lead guitar breaks. Sometimes they sound a little overly Wildheartsy, but as the quote goes ‘Good artists imitate, great artists steal’, and MDD definitely aren’t imitating, instead they seem to have begun a Borg-like assimilation of their influences, cherry picking their favourite bits and stirring them in to the big Duke gumbo.
Lead track Thank God I’m Not Content starts off as business as usual, albeit with an unorthodox approach to melody that automatically tells you something’s different in Duke-land (although they do seemed to have nabbed the intro to Honeycrack’s The Genius Is Loose). This is further affirmed with the lazy ska chord stabs of Vanity Project’s verse, that give way to the epic lead guitar mentioned earlier along with some of the heaviest riffing to come out of the band yet. The EP closes with Live and Die a Duke in Debt, a song with the huge earworm of a chorus and yet more complicated riffage.
With Happy Now? Modern Day Dukes have evolved into something extremely interesting and challenging, while still retaining their rock and roll spirit.