Duvel - Attempts at Speech
Fysisk Format
12 songs (36' 33")
Release year: 2018
Fysisk Format
Reviewed by Andy

Thanks to some local radio shows, I've been listening to quite a bit of post-punk in the past month or two, and there's a lot of very good stuff available on those shows that I've been happy I listened to. Coincidentally, I was recently sent a promo of Norwegian post-punk newcomers Duvel's debut, Attempts at Speech. A lo-fi, high-speed album, it's not a bad listen, though the tracks aren't as differentiated as they could be.

The name of the game on this one is minimalism; some post-punk bands let their synthesizers make the songs too lush, but no such behavior informs the songwriting of Duvel. The bassline gives Attempts at Speech's tracks a speed that combines in a haunting way with Jack Holldorff's guitar and vocals. The band has the echoing glumness of the 80s post-punk vocal style down pat, complete with a British-sounding accent, and the guitars, filled with buzzing distortion loops, improvise arpeggiated melodies on top of the chords.

The songwriting has highs and lows. One of my favorites, Strange, has a driving melody and beat that combines nicely with Holldorff's vocal delivery, and Falling has a stripped-down punk simplicity to it that makes it appealing. Others miss the mark; notably, when the band slows down and the songs start to pass the four-minute mark, they become less charming, though Birds, an experimental-sounding piece with one-and-two-string plucking on the guitar, is still fairly good. A little softer and more emotional, and Attempts at Speech would fall flat; as it is, the album's abrasive enough to keep metal listeners engaged for a spin or two.

Killing Songs :
Andy quoted 78 / 100
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