thu 18/08/2022

CD: Dutch Uncles – Out of Touch in The Wild | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Dutch Uncles – Out of Touch in The Wild

CD: Dutch Uncles – Out of Touch in The Wild

British art rock thrives

Dutch Uncles' 'Out of Touch in The Wild': egghead pop

With David Bowie’s return prompting thoughts on British art rock, it’s apt that Dutch Uncles’ third album is hitting the streets now. A through-and-through example of smartly constructed pop, this would in another era have been called prog rock.

From Marple near Stockport and formed in 2004 as Headlines, Dutch Uncles haven’t made it easy for themselves. Their first album snuck out on the Hamburg label Tapete. Their second – like this – was issued by British indie Memphis Industries. Although that was nominally inclined to math rock, with the de rigueur jagged song structures, it also had a sweetness which didn’t fit that bill and made them gratifyingly hard to pin down. Third time round, the instant attraction and album's focus is singer Duncan Wallis’ crystalline high-register vocals, which unashamedly echo Yes’s Jon Anderson. That should mean Wild Beasts could be their closest British bed fellows, but Dutch Uncles really inhabit the same musical landscape as Field Music (also on Memphis Industries).

Rhythmically sure-footed, their gnomically titled songs – “Zug Zwang”, “Nomeot”, “Bellio” – are punctuated by Wallis’s piano arpeggios and circling strings. Diving off into other melodic themes is kept to a minimum. Marimba amplifies the delicacy (and suggests Japan), a dry bass guitar nods to (again) Yes’s Chris Squire, while the album’s closer reveals a fondness for seminal Krautrockers Neu! King Crimson and solo Peter Gabriel aren’t far either. Although the band don't shy away from embracing their forebears, there isn’t much place for their two guitarists on Out of Touch in the Wild. Nonetheless, egghead pop thrives in these charming hands.

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

Watch the video for “Fester” from Dutch Uncles’ Out of Touch in The Wild

 

Comments

just to let you know, Robin Richards (Bassist) writes the majority of the music, whereas Duncan Wallis writes vocal melodies and lyrics as far as I know. When you say "Wallis's piano arpeggios" Robin actually wrote them so they're his really, but Duncan probably did play them. Peace x

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