CD: The Duke Spirit, Cuts Across the Land

(Loog)

In the current upsurge of post-Britpop Britpop, one thing stands out: the absence of women. But Liela Moss, the aloof blonde who fronts the Duke Spirit, flaunts a contrary femininity. She coos like a reproachful Sandra Dee on the dark whirlpool of Stubborn Stitches. "I am the mind that burns inside this girl's body," she sings in Hello to the Floor, her voice carrying an implicit dare.

But the reason she has to work so hard is because the rest of the band is too in love with the Stooges and in awe of the Velvet Underground to do more than copy them. So the Duke Spirit end up being cock-rock without the cock, the guitars strutting, posing and providing an inconsequential background against which Moss tries to prove she's as good as the boys. If only she realised she's better.

Contributor

Betty Clarke

The GuardianTramp

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