Review #56: Dutch Uncles – O Shudder

Artist – Dutch Uncles
Album – O Shudder (2015)

Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/7EEHgEWuVqvoxxcUd7xbUZ

Dutch Uncles are a Math-Pop band from Manchester, UK. The band have become known for using odd time signatures within their music, which isn’t very typical in pop music. Dutch Uncles cite artists such as King Crimson, Talking Heads and Steve Reich as influences, which would explain the twist they incorporate into their pop style music. Uncles formed in 2008 and since then have performed at such UK festivals as Bestival, Leeds/Reading and Latitude, as well as gaining a support slot with Paramore in 2013. Dutch Uncles now release their fourth Album ‘O Shudder’.

O Shudder is a compilation of songs reminiscent of 80s synth-pop (such as New order), with elements of indie bands like Two Door Cinema Club and Vampire Weekend. What sets the band/album apart from these genres however is lead singer Duncan Wallis’ vocals, very smooth and natural tone utilised well harmonically with the synth melodies. Although i enjoyed this album and felt it was well crafted by talented musicians, there wasn’t a song that particularly stood out or stuck with me after listening. The band may not have necessarily been working towards writing catchy music, but when you proclaim to be math-pop there has to be that element of pop(ularity). I also noticed that for a band with ‘Math’ in its genre title, there weren’t as many odd rhythms or complicated melodies as this name would suggest, or their previous work suggested … which was a tad disappointing. However the rhythm section are very well connected and the harmony between melodies, vocals and synth chords do sound quiet beautiful at times.

Overall the album is a nice and enjoyable listen. There are interesting segments and well crafted songs, as well as a great performance from vocalist Duncan Wallis. However the album isn’t as outgoing, innovative or progressive as i was initially hoping.

7/10

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