A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Cocktail Club Film Club
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features TV Club Wiki Wormhole
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios

The Duke Spirit: Bruiser


The Duke Spirit

Album: Bruiser
Label: Shangri-La Music

Community Grade (2 Users)

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Your Grade


The Duke Spirit has all the right elements in place for a modern rock band: a sultry, charismatic lead singer; swaggering, noisily tuned guitars; the praises of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen; and even a featured song on Guitar Hero 5. And yet the UK-based outfit has remained, over the course of its eight-year career, a modestly popular band with little recognition beyond its own fan base. So, the nagging question is: Why?

The new Bruiser may be a clue to that. For one, it took three years to get released, and in these blink-and-it’s-gone times, that’s an eternity. Had Bruiser—with its jangly, garage-rock sound and bluesy, orphic vocals—been released just a bit earlier, it might have had a bigger impact. As it is, Bruiser is an album with some promise, but not much. It’s a more polished, if languid, Duke Spirit than previous efforts. Moody ballads swell between fuzzed-out, power-rock numbers, but there are few breakout moments. A couple tracks are stunning—the heavy and tumultuous “Bodies,” for one—but much of the record is a gray wash. The Duke Spirit may have intended a more accessible sound on its third record, but in the process, it seems to have lost its edge.