This is a review of "Quick to the City" recorded by Dugong. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2005.
2003's "Hat Danko" is still one of my favourite New Yorkshire albums. Opening track "Honest Industry" gets at least one play a month even now. Listening to the current New Wave of Noisy Things, it 's brilliant to hear all the angularity, shouting, bass rumbling punk genius and related racket done to perfection, on a respected label in our very own region, but two years ago.
And here we are with a new six track thing that has got tighter, sharper, faster and even more to the point. "Grave Dancer" is only one minute 45. It’s furious, controlled, powerful stuff, hurled forward by Andrew Jarvis from the drums and lacerated with guitar and brutalised vocal. I like it more than a lot. "Quick City", at track one is impossible-to-play guitar assault with crazed precision in bass and drums. Improbably it even has a tune.
"Trojan Horse" comes next with the tumbling rumbly sound that Dugong do so well. I hardly dare turn up the volume. The repressed volume surges like an earthquake. For a moment there's a Billy Bragg (eh?) moment of rage and hurt punctuated with surgical drums and bass. Glorious. "come out fighting!!!" he yells, and the guitar yammer yammer yammers away. Then it goes all power chords and emotional for a big steaming acid bath of a finish.
"Silver and Gold" ("We are the best for we are silver and gold!") is the next tack, and the hairs on the back of the neck tingle at the guitar noises of the fire-ravaged response to the chorus. It's anthemic, raging, musically inspiring stuff. Did I mention that this is a good CD?
In fact (meaning opinion, obviously) it's so exciting I could burst. Sorry all you Futuresound bands, but this is the quality you have to rise to. Get there or go home.
"Blooded Ground" starts like a slower thing. And that gives us a breather as Matt Broadbent sings his line "No heart is blacker than a snake's". But it picks up and there's a cranked up punky finish, with all those blistered little additions in the guitar part that keep your jaw dropped and your eyes wide open for fear of missing something. It’s variation and wizardry in the service of the raw visceral pleasure that loud electric guitar was designed for.
"No Trouble" is track six, a mad two minute race through all the highlights of a frenetic live set. I can’t believe I'm sitting here at home listening to the CD while they're playing live at Out of Spite at Jospeh's Well. I must be mad. Or getting old.
Look. Dugong are threatening to pack it all in. This CD would be a great epitaph, but what if the apprentices aren’t ready to take over from the masters yet? If you only buy one Yorkshire CD all this year, this is the one to get. In fact, get two. Keep one for yourself and walk to London with the other and shove it up the NME's arse.