Ducktails: The Flower Lane – review


There's always one big peril to the "solo project", essayed here by Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile. If the songs were that good, why wouldn't you take them to your main band? The obverse of that, though, is that you get albums that skip unconcernedly across genres, refreshingly free of the need to meet expectations. The fourth album under the Ducktails name is more of a band effort than heretofore, but that hasn't restrained Mondanile, who seems to have wanted to divide The Flower Line between gentle psychedelic pop (as on Ivy Coloured House and Planet Phom, which bears the imprint of New Zealand's Flying Nun label) and wine-bar funk-pop (Under Cover sounds uncannily like Orange Juice when Edwyn Collins was trying his best to be conventional). Assistant Director staggers oddly off in the direction of house without quite making it to the front door. The divide in styles is the problem: two is enough to prevent a clear personality shining through, but not enough to give it a sense of adventure. As pleasant – and as unnecessary – as whipped cream on your hot chocolate.


Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Real Estate: Atlas review – The Truman Show, New Jersey-style
New Jersey's Real Estate deliver another beautiful album that balances summery lightness with melancholy and anxiety, writes Harriet Gibsone

Harriet Gibsone

27, Feb, 2014 @10:00 PM

Article image
Real Estate: In Mind review – understated pleasures from steadfast indie-rockers

Gwilym Mumford

16, Mar, 2017 @9:00 PM

Article image
Ducktails: St Catherine review – carefree serenity undercut with melancholy
The fifth outing for Matt Mondanile’s side project is ideal fare for a lazy summer afternoon

Phil Mongredien

26, Jul, 2015 @7:00 AM

Real Estate: Days – review
If Real Estate's songs are so instantly memorable, how do they also manage to be so uninspiring, wonders Maddy Costa

Maddy Costa

20, Oct, 2011 @10:00 PM

Real Estate: Days – review
Dreamy jangle pop gets a Fleet Foxes flavour on Real Estate's second album, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

15, Oct, 2011 @11:06 PM

Atlas review – sun-kissed indie-rock with depth from Real Estate

The third album from the New Jersey five-piece is a winner, writes Paul Mardles

Paul Mardles

02, Mar, 2014 @12:05 AM

Article image
Warpaint: Warpaint – review
Warpaint's second album is so muted and restrained as to be barely there, but close listening does reap some rewards, writes Alexis Petridis

Alexis Petridis

16, Jan, 2014 @3:00 PM

Article image
Torres: Torres – review
Nasville-based Mackenzie Scott's stark confessionals sound like the first flowerings of a major new talent, writes Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

05, Dec, 2013 @9:30 PM

Article image
Cheatahs: Cheatahs – review
This new British band ape the sounds of 90s US rock with an appealing sense of buzz and bluster, writes Maddy Costa

Maddy Costa

06, Feb, 2014 @9:14 PM

Article image
Blur: 21 – review
Alexis Petridis: It's a hardy soul who'll get through all 21 discs, but Blur's complete works make for a fascinating listen

Alexis Petridis

26, Jul, 2012 @2:30 PM