Manchester has long been known to be home to an extensive musical history that any other city could easily be envious of.
When looking at its resume for reputable talent, including the likes of The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays, and The Stone Roses, it doesn’t take long to understand why the city has long been regarded as one of the UK’s largest musical hubs.
Dutch Uncles sit alongside a host of contemporary compatriots who continue to uphold the Manchester tradition of putting out consistently high quality releases.
On their third studio album Out Of Touch In The Wild, the indie-rock quintet take a turn towards a mixture of 1980s-Talking Heads influenced art rock and electro-pop aligning them with fellow Brits Metronomy and Hot Chip.
Opening with a combination of simple keys, a noticeably Alexis Taylor-like vocal introduction, and ringing xylophone, the album soon combines spaced-out 80s synths with fidgeting math-rock guitar hooks.
The album glides through tracks combining fragmented electro-pop and grooving bass lines, agitating around front man Duncan Wallis’s fluid falsetto, along with clean production aesthetics.
Album highlight ‘Flexxin’ sees rhythmic string sections feverishly launching through jittering guitar lines, abruptly exiting and re-entering the track as they please.
On ‘Zug Zwang’ an impatient piano nervously pushes aside a placid and undisturbed string opening, with a rigid staccato, as asymmetrical time signatures interweave around crooked drum beats.
Despite the fascinating and complex arrangements featuring on the album, Out Of Touch In The Wild does begin to feel slightly indifferent towards its end. The tracks seem to unintentionally begin to meld together and continue on towards the LP’s end without any real sense of varying dynamics.
The lack of variation on the record can feel slightly unsatisfying at times; just as tracks feel like they’re going to finally sling into some sort of memorable bridge or addictive chorus, they revert back into another verse.
Out Of Touch In The Wild is an artistically inspired album that despite its lack of a sonic apex, proves why Dutch Uncles manic energy is as contagious as ever.
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