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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Dudley Corporation
In Love with the Dudley Corporation
Absolutely Kosher Records

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

August 25, 2005
Anyone who has listened to the Dudley Corporation's newest record seems to be In Love with the Dudley Corporation, which makes the title of their newest LP even more appropriate. Seemingly, it's also a bit ironic that the band's last proper full length album was titled The Lonely World of the Dudley Corporation - Rock LP. The band has come a long way from being one of Dublin's most companionless to the Irish magazine, Hot Press's, 59th greatest Irish LP ever made.

It's certainly easy to see why the band has taken off in the last couple of years, carving a place for themselves as one Ireland's most notable indie rock acts. From a town where Celtic music rules and U2 reigns as supreme hometown heroes, the Dudley Corporation's take on jangly Pavement-esque pop infused with Fugazi's bite, and leave a lasting impression with some of the freshest sounding musical micro-jaunts in recent memory.

Although In Love with the Dudley Corporation isn't all that new, the album took a while before being released in the states by Absolutely Kosher, and has since been hailed by critics and fans alike as a humble masterpiece; it's easy to see why. Songs like album-opener "Colossus", with its rather pure, light-hearted beginning (later taunted by a bone crushing end), use their short stature to play out haunting marches of earnest beauty and solidarity. The track's quiet mix of picked guitar sways and current-like sea squalls drift inward to the shore like a broken mirage, mired by the deafening sound of distorted guitars and double bass drum.

More upbeat and destructive comes the album's single, "What a Human Does". The Dudley Corporation show what they do best with their mathematical post-punk, as they compile layers of complex arranged guitar blasts and beautifully constructed melodies. Lead Dudley - known to friends and family as just Dudley - has a broad, sweet-sounding voice that, at certain points, dead-pans Jeff Buckley's brilliant falsetto. The rest of the band does well with accompanying vocal duties to capture the feeling of being suspended in mid-air; a comforting embrace before the impact of the blow.

The last half of the album shows the dynamic force of the Dudley Corporation's layered harmonies. "Auld Fairy" relies heavily on a hymn like meters and ends in a symphonic waltz, giving in to the next track, "Count Me In". Both trod along with the same pace, but are delivered in a glorious fashion that isn't too far away from Texan apocalyptic deacons, Lift to Experience. However, although the vocals struggle to keep the listeners' attention for the last few songs on In Love with the Dudley Corporation; while ultimately succinct, the effort drags on at its end, and in fact, some of the closing songs are dangerously close to being sleep-inducing.

All 14 tracks and some 35 minutes of In Love with the Dudley Corporation mark a concise expression of brevity in duration, which turns out to be the record's biggest downfall. The songs contain big ideas, but more often than not, the thoughts aren't fully explored, and could easily constitute bigger epic-bound tales instead of commercial-like jingles. However briefly the songs unfold on In Love with the Dudley Corporation, the album is just as likely to steal your consciousness and leave you breathless as it is to have you subconsciously tapping your toes.

Reviewed by Mark Taylor
A senior LAS staff writer, Mark Taylor is a 29 year old father of a 5 year old son and husband to a wife of 6 years, living the simple life in a small suburb of Charlotte, NC.

See other reviews by Mark Taylor



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