Ducking Punches

Ducking Punches – Alamort (Xtra Mile Recordings)

Alamort is an emotive record by Norwich band Ducking Punches. It’s a thrilling ride from start to finish, an album of punk rock winners and melodic heart-pullers, bundled together like notes of truth and desire. These musicians certainly hurt and walk disenchanted, but there is a sense of clarity. Their views are inside a bubble of lyrical momentum too, a bubble brimming with snapshots and words aching to be thrown into the world.

Lyrically this band aren’t fashionably throwing together words that fit for the sake of it. They are creating poetic strands, thinking about what they want to say. There are moments when the listener will cascade into the words like a snowstorm, digging for gold and finding so much that their pockets will collapse. It is good honest punk rock from an English band, an outfit using their talent to tell us their fables. The music is brilliantly constructed too. Little riffs pierce through, little snippets of melody bring it all to the forefront. And yes, it’s punk rock, it’s not dainty or neat and tidy, it’s full blooded and commanding, progressive and loud. When listening on, you may fall in love with its brashness. But, there are songs on Alamort which cool down the rage, an anger profoundly melded in.

The band has nurtured their sound here. 2014’s Dance Before You Sleep is a raw compendium, a songbook of heart and soul. Now, they’ve certainly elevated their music and lyrical prowess. That’s not to say that Dance Before You Sleep was a poor show, far from it. Although it is second best to what they have created with Alamort.

Unfounded Hope’ opens the record. Singer Dan Allen presents his voice like a red alert, an alarm to wake up the masses of disfranchised sleepers. He has exceptional range, provoking the listener to abide by every note. The riff is pleasing too, as well as the blistering drumbeats. ‘Missing You Is Killing Me’ is a plea for help from a lover or a friend called alcohol. Allen morphs into some sort of lyrical anarchist, fearlessly prodding at the world and loneliness. The arrangements have been produced with intelligence and a broad musical understanding. ‘The Club With No Name’ is sombre. It’s subtle, it resonates as a piece of harmonic brilliance. The drums excel here and are heard over the beating of guitars. Allen produces a beautiful speech here, tantalising the inner core of sadness. ‘Sobriety’ describes failings. Life is crumbling, hope has been startled, there’s no energy for a revolution. The vocals are tuned well here as the simple riff plays on.

Ducking Punches are a band of thinkers. It’s clear that they’re true to their sound.

Alamort is released on 16th February through Xtra Mile recordings.

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