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MARMADUKE DUKE: The Magnificent Duke (Captains Of Industry)

Posted: June 2nd, 2005, by Tom Leins

Those of you who find yourself shuddering and reaching for sharp implements when you see the words ‘concept’ and ‘album’ would be well-advised to look away now…

‘The Magnificent Duke’ is a busy, busy album. Unsettling yet compelling – just like conjoined children… And, just like with conjoined children, with Marmaduke Duke we also get more than we bargained for. In this case: a bubbling cauldron full of post-hardcore yelps, metal guitars, subdued indie and twiddly prog mannerisms. They say ‘cocktail’, I say ‘stew’ – but, then again, i’ve always preferred stew.

Usually when i stumble across prog musicians lurking in the wild, nourishing themselves on chunks of old vinyl and scraps of tree-bark i’d flush them out of hiding with punk-rock music, trap them with a burlap sack and drown them in the nearest reservoir, but, with Marmaduke Duke i’m happy to make an exception.

The press release is laudably pretentious, and can only be encouraged. “[They] won’t be so crass as to use the words ‘genius’ or ‘classic’ – they’re long since redundant terms in the modern pop lexicon, over-used and worthless. Nor shall we use such regimented ideas of ‘band’ and ‘album’.” Similarly, I wouldn’t be so crass as to give this album a ‘review’ (bad or otherwise) as such. After all, who knows what it would do to their prog-addled minds? (I think they’ve already got enough jazz-rock turmoil to be getting on with for one band…)

Not a bad album, by any stretch of the imagination, just a preposterously overblown one. But, if there’s room for The Mars Volta in your life, then there’s almost certainly room for Marmaduke Duke and friends.


Tom Leins

Tom is a relative obscurity in diskantland. All we know of him is that he's from Devon and that he writes a fanzine called 'Voices from Downtroddendom', so draw your own conclusions from that. Our conclusions are that he's probably got a funny accent and a bit too much time on his hands. So he'll fit right in around here.

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