Chivvied along by recognition from NME's Cool List, Cheltenham's Duke Spirit were among 2005's most-likely-tos, but, inexplicably, the public failed to embrace these "conduits to debauchery" (their description) and despite critical acclaim, their first album sank. This follow-up could well restore some of those initial expectations. Overseen by Queens of the Stone Age producer Chris Goss in California, it proffers the familiar garage-blues sound, but with (literally) bells on. Not to mention horns and strings. Other bands of their ilk - Babyshambles, the Kills - should think about following suit, because the fuller sound works a treat. Their original surging punkery has been preserved in the shape of a few basic indie-moshpit numbers like Into the Fold, but, elsewhere, the addition of trumpets and violins take things to a more interesting level. Singer Liela Moss foxily presides over the whole dense mix. What's not to like?
CD: The Duke Spirit, Neptune
Caroline Sullivan writes about rock and pop for the Guardian